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AIR FORCE ISSUES FISH ADVISORIES NEAR FORMER WURTSMITH AIRBASE NEAR OSCODA

CRAIG ROUTZAHN

Thu, 09 May 2013 06:48:34 EDT

 


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       THE AIR FORCE CIVIL ENGINEER CENTER IS WORKING CLOSELY WITH STATE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES AND LOCAL LEADERSHIP TO TO INFORM PEOPLE NEAR OSCODA ON THE FISH ADVISORIES RESULTING FROM PERFLOURINATED COMPOUNDS CONTAMINATION. UNSAFE LEVELS OF PFCS EXIST IN FISH TAKEN FROM WATER BODIES BELOW THE FIRE TRAINING AREA SITE AT THE FORMER WURTSMITH AIR FORCE BASE.   “OUR PRIMARY GOAL IS TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WHICH FISH WE RECOMMEND THEY NOT EAT AND THAT THEY CAN STILL ENJOY USING THE RIVER,” SAID CHRISTINA BUSH, A TOXICOLOGIST WITH MICHGAN DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH. THEY SAY PEOPLE SHOULD AVOID EATING FISH THAT LIVE IN THE RIVER YEAR ROUND SUCH AS PERCH, BASS AND PANFISH. WALLEYE, SALMON AND TROUT ARE NOT EXPECTED TO HAVE ELEVATED LEVELS OF PFCS BECAUSE THEY MIGRATE FROM LAKE HURON, ACCORDING TO BUSH.   THE AIR FORCE CIVIL ENGINEER CENTER IS EXPLORING A VARIETY OF OPTIONS TO CONTAIN THE CONTAMINATION WITHIN THE FIRE TRAINING AREA AS PART OF A FEASIBILITY STUDY TO DETERMINE THE MOST APPROPRIATE REMEDY. ONCE THE FEASIBILITY STUDY IS COMPLETE, AFCEC WILL PLAN TO AWARD A CONTRACT TO BEGIN CLEANUP IN 2014. THE WURTSMITH SITE NEAR CLARK’S MARSH SERVED AS A FIRE TRAINING AREA FROM 1958-1991. WHILE IN USE, AIRMEN USED A MATERIAL KNOWN AS AQUEOUS FILM FORMING FOAM TO EXTINGUISH TRAINING FIRES. PFCS ARE A COMPONENT, AND THE CHEMICAL IS BELIEVED TO HAVE MOVED INTO CLARK’S MARSH AND ITS CONNECTING WATERS THROUGH THE GROUNDWATER OVER TIME. THE OSCODA WURTSMITH AIRPORT AUTHORITY NOW OWNS THE FORMER FIRE TRAINING AREA PROPERTY, AND CLARK’S MARSH IS PART OF THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE’S HURON NATIONAL FOREST.

   

 

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