MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
A Phase I Remedial Investigation (RI) is underway for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at the 167th Airlift Wing, Shepherd Field, Martinsburg, West Virginia.
PFAS are a diverse group of compounds that are persistent and resist degradation in the environment.
PFAS contamination of the Big Springs Deep Well which feeds the Big Springs Water Treatment Facility in Martinsburg has been attributed to the use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) previously used for firefighting activities at the 167th AW.
The City of Martinsburg has since installed a granular activated carbon filtration system to remove PFAS from the water. However, environmental restoration efforts continue following the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) process.
Under the CERCLA construct, an RI is conducted after a preliminary assessment, a site inspection, and an expanded site inspection are completed.
A preliminary assessment was conducted at the 167th in 2015, followed by a site inspection in 2018 and an expanded site inspection in 2020.
“We’re continuing to work with our environmental restoration team at the National Guard Bureau as we progress through the remedial investigation and the CERCLA process,” said Carlie Paine, environmental manager for the 167th Airlift Wing. “This will be a multi-year endeavor; it’s a very deliberate process.”
The Air National Guard Environmental Restoration Branch contracted Leidos to conduct the RI. Leidos will conduct the RI in a phased approach so that early data can inform decisions and actions later in the RI.
Fieldwork for the RI commenced in November with plans to evaluate 13 areas of concern. During the RI, additional data will be collected to define the extent of PFAS contamination identified during previous site inspections, assess the potential risks to human health and ecological risk, and provide information to support remediation options.
The field work for the RI will include aboveground geophysics and fracture trace analysis, groundwater screening, borehole geophysics, monitoring well installation, synoptic groundwater elevation surveys, groundwater sampling, source area soil sampling, surface water and sediment sampling.
“The importance of these environmental restoration efforts cannot be overstated, and we’re committed to the long-term measures needed to get to PFAS remediation,” said Col. Christopher Sigler, 167th Airlift Wing commander. “We’re thankful to The City of Martinsburg for their continued efforts to provide safe drinking water for our community.”
For more information about the PFAS at the 167th Airlift Wing please visit https://www.167aw.ang.af.mil/PFOS-PFOA-Information/ .