PFAS found in groundwater at BTV Air Force base, drinking water safe

Vermont Business Magazine The draft final report of the 2019 Expanded Site Inspection (ESI) for per-and-polyfluoralkyl Substances (PFAS) at the 158th Fighter Wing installation and adjacent property has been provided to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) for review.

The ESI Results conclude that there are elevated levels of PFAS in multiple groundwater and surface water sites. Drinking water is not impacted. Drinking water for the installation and neighboring communities is supplied by the Champlain Water District (CWD).

The report is nearing finalization pending review by VT DEC. The ESI was conducted by Parsons at the VTANG base under a contract managed by the Air National Guard Readiness Center.

The report is part of a comprehensive process the Vermont Air National Guard has undertaken over the past several years to determine the extent to which chemicals used in firefighting foam on the base – also widely used by a number of other industries – have been found in surface water, groundwater and soils on and near the base.

Field work for the ESI was performed between May and August of 2019 which include on and off-Base sampling of groundwater, surface water, storm water, soils and sediments at multiple sites.

Information to water testing can be found on the CWD website:

“This has been a very thorough process to determine potential impacts from the use of PFAS on our base and I am encouraged that we can now move toward the next phase of this critically important work.” said Col. Adam Rice, 158th Fighter Wing Vice Commander. “We take this issue very seriously and want to reassure our employees and the community that drinking water has not been impacted and there is no threat to human health."

The ESI is a continuation of the second phase - a Site Investigation completed in January 2018 - which is governed by the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) process. The VTANG will move to the next phase in the CERCLA process known as the Remedial Investigation. This will include additional data collection to further characterize site conditions and the completion of risk assessments.

"We have been coordinating with Vermont DEC and the Air National Guard Readiness Center closely throughout this entire process,” said Mr. Shannon Kelly, 158th Fighter Wing Environmental Manager. “We will continue to move forward as quickly and responsibly as we can into the next phase of the CERCLA process."

For comprehensive information on Air Force response to PFAS, please visit or contact the 158th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office, 1st. Lt. Chelsea Clark, (802) 660-5379, [email protected].

Source: South Burlington, Vt. - VTANG 3.27.2020