CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Gerald R. Ford International Airport on Wednesday said that PFAS tests it conducted at neighboring wells show the water is safe.

The airport said its consultant tested 28 private wells and found none of the two most widely studied PFAS compounds, though it found low levels of other compounds in one well.

It said the state Department of Environmental Quality and Kent County Health Department said the low levels “do not pose any health concerns.”

The airport did not say where it tested.

However, several residents in the neighborhood downhill from the airport have told Target 8 that tests they paid for found low to moderate levels of PFAS in their wells.

Gordon Water Systems told Target 8 in April that it found PFAS in two wells in the neighborhood of more than 400 homes just west of the airport.

The highest PFAS level was found nearest the airport. A test result provided by Gordon shows that well with 36.6 parts per trillion of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, one of the two most-studied PFAS compounds. The test also found 15.5 ppt of another, less-studied compound known as perfluoroheptanoic acid or PFHpA.

The state limit for drinking water is 70 ppt.

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When asked why private tests found PFAS while the airport’s tests did not, airport spokeswoman Tara Hernandez said, “that would be a question for the MDEQ.”

DEQ spokesman Scott Dean said the state has seen the airport’s lab reports, but was not provided a map of the area tested. He said the DEQ was still waiting for a final report.

“Once we get that report, DEQ can determine if additional testing will be required offsite,” Dean said.

The airport’s press release included a statement from Kent County Health Department Administrative Health Officer Adam London.

“We applaud the Airport’s efforts in going above and beyond the requirements to conduct
off-site residential testing, and based on the data and related results, we concur there is no
need to continue additional residential testing at this time,” the airport quoted London as saying.

The tests followed a Target 8 report into the historic use of PFAS-based firefighting foam at the airport.