Navy Sets Public Meetings for Water Sampling Updates

NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – The Navy will hold its next two open house public meetings on the results from its ongoing community drinking water sampling for the emerging, national environmental issue of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) around NAS Whidbey Island facilities on May 31 and June 1, 2017.

This is an opportunity to learn more about the drinking water investigation near Ault Field and OLF Coupeville.  Subject matter experts from the Navy and partnering agencies will share information and answer your questions.  Because there will not be a formal presentation, you are welcome to arrive at any time during the Open House.  There are two open houses currently scheduled for your area:

Oak Harbor                                                                                   Coupeville

Wed., May 31, 2017, 5 – 7 p.m.                                                   Thurs., June 1, 2017, 5 – 7 p.m.

Hillcrest Elementary School                                                     Camp Casey Conference Center

1500 NW 2nd Avenue                                                                 1276 Engle Road

The following update is also provided as part of the Navy’s ongoing community drinking water testing for this project:

  • As of May 19, 2017, the Navy has received 211 lab results from drinking water sampling at private residence and public supply wells in the areas surrounding both NAS Whidbey Island’s Ault Field and Outlying Landing Field (OLF) Coupeville properties.
  • As of May 19, 2017, the Navy has obtained 211 samples for analysis.  Of the total 211 results received, ten results are above EPA lifetime health advisory level established for one of two specific PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate, PFOS and/or perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA.  During Phase 2 sampling, a duplicate sample was taken from a well within Phase 1 area to confirm the exceedance; both samples from this well were above the EPA lifetime health advisory. All drinking water laboratory results have been validated by a third party data validation firm.
  • The Navy has received 112 results from properties near OLF Coupeville and seven results are above the EPA lifetime health advisory.
  • The Navy has received 99 results from properties near Ault Field and two sample results are above the life time health advisory.
  • The Navy commenced Phase 2 of its drinking water sampling program on February 20, 2017. The Navy finished Phase 2 sampling on March 4, 2017; however, if you were not able to schedule sampling and you received a letter, please call 360-396-1030. A Navy representative will call you to set up sampling.
  • The Navy finished drilling 27 groundwater monitoring wells at OLF Coupeville on February 15, 2017.  The Navy finished sampling these wells for PFOS and PFOA on March 4, 2017.
  • The Navy has received results from the new groundwater monitoring wells at the Outlying Landing Field in Coupeville.  Three of the twenty-seven wells installed contained PFOS and/or PFOA above the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory.
  •  The Navy’s investigation progresses but is pending receipt of information regarding groundwater flow directions and local hydrogeology.  Receipt of this information is critical to determining the next steps.   Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.

 

The Navy is providing drinking water to the owners of wells with drinking water concentrations that exceed the EPA’s lifetime health advisory as we work to validate the data and develop a long-term solution.  The Navy will update property owners on their validated results.

Out of respect to residents’ privacy, specific results (with specific location information) will only be released by the Navy to the residents whom had their wells sampled.  Speculating on the cause of any positive result is inappropriate and premature until thoroughly investigated.

The Navy continues to work directly with residents, community leaders and other federal, state and local agencies on this important national issue and will keep the community informed while respecting the privacy of individual residents.

People in the sampling area have been notified by letter and can arrange sampling by calling 360-396-1030.  We encourage residents in the sampling area to have their wells sampled.

Updates and additional information on this project is available at http://go.usa.gov/xkMBc.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Navy continues to investigate drinking water sources at Navy Installations worldwide where PFAS are suspected – typically at locations with historic use of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a highly effective, life-saving fire suppressant, which contains PFAS.

In Navy Region Northwest, this included investigating groundwater at NASWI and the OLF at Coupeville to determine if it is impacted from past releases of AFFF containing PFAS, which are classified by the EPA as unregulated or “emerging” contaminants and have no regulatory standards or routine water quality testing requirements.

The sampling will help the Navy determine if additional actions are needed to protect human health and the environment.

 

MEDIA CONTACT                                                             PUBLIC CONTACT

Mike Welding                                                                   Leslie Yuenger

Public Affairs Officer                                                     Public Affairs Officer

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island                              Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest

E-mail:Michael.welding@navy.mil                            E-mail:Leslie.yuenger@navy.mil

Office:  360-257-2962                                                    Office: 360-396-6387

Cell: 360-914-7915                                                         Cell: 360-340-5592

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