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Dillingham PFAS Project - August 31, 2020

Below is the Dillingham PFAS project update as of August 31, 2020. For additional information regarding the department’s statewide PFAS projects please visit http://dot.alaska.gov/airportwater.

If you have questions, please contact the multi-agency PFAS project team:

COVID-19

In response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it has been requested of countries, communities, companies and individuals to do their part to make every effort to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and their contractor, Shannon & Wilson, Inc., have submitted protective plans to the state of Alaska in accordance with Health Mandate 10. DOT&PF as well as Shannon & Wilson, Inc. are committed to ensuring the health, safety and protection of personnel, their families and the communities in which they serve.

As you are aware, DOT&PF is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of PFAS contamination at state owned airports. Evaluation includes past and present Part 139 airports and former Department of Defense sites that the department is responsible for. DOT&PF through Shannon & Wilson, Inc. is working to identify and sample potentially impacted communities, conduct ongoing monitoring, perform site characterization efforts and implement interim and long-term drinking water solutions where wells have been impacted. The department believes this work is essential for the health and safety of Alaskans and would like to continue mitigation efforts in your community.

In addition to the protective plans stated above, Shannon & Wilson, Inc. has created guidance specifically for private well sampling and other field work. Residential sampling requires special consideration due to the nature of the work, as Shannon & Wilson, Inc. sampling staff would normally enter private residences in order to collect a water sample. They have implemented practices to protect staff, residents and the community including collecting water samples outdoors, whenever possible.

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. field personal shall adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Working with DOT&PF closely to ensure project tasks are considered essential;
  • COVID-19 guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control;
  • Prior to scheduling travel DOT&PF and Shannon & Wilson, Inc. will contact local government and/or tribal leadership, travel accommodation providers, and where possible, individual residents to determine if residents and businesses are agreeable to staff entering their premises;
  • Travel will not take place until permission from the local and/or tribal government is received by DOT&PF and Shannon & Wilson, Inc.;
  • Field staff will wear face masks and ask residents a series of questions to determine if the environment is safe to enter for all parties involved;
  • Field staff will not collect samples where either the owner or occupant refuses access; and
  • When possible, field staff will purge wells and obtain a sample from an outside spigot.

DOT&PF recognizes that some communities have set local ordinances specific to their area outside of Health Mandate 18 issued by Governor Mike Dunleavey on May 11, 2020. DOT&PF and Shannon & Wilson, Inc. will coordinate with your local governments to ensure compliance and the appropriate permits are obtained.

View the DOT&PF COVID-19 Management Plan.

Updates Since June 2019

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. conducted quarterly sampling events in November 2019 and February 2020. The springtime sampling event was canceled due to local travel restrictions. Up to six water supply wells were sampled for PFAS each visit. None of the samples collected exceeded actionable levels. During the November sampling event Shannon & Wilson, Inc. completed property walk-throughs at six locations and sampled four impacted wells for various non-PFAS analytes. Shannon & Wilson, Inc. is utilizing their findings from this effort to provide a long-term alternate water feasibility study report for DOT&PF and the Division or Risk Management. The report outlines long-term solutions and is anticipated to be completed fall 2020.

Upcoming Work August 2020

Shannon & Wilson will be traveling to Dillingham for an annual sampling event Monday, August 31, 2020 through Wednesday, September 4, 2020. Approximately 17 well samples will be collected. They will also continue the department’s ongoing efforts to identify and implement a long-term alternate water solution for PFAS-impacted water supply wells. Impacted properties are receiving bottled water deliveries until the long-term solution is in place.

Risk Management Updates

The Division of Risk Management has hired a new Claims Administrator, Ken Simpson. If you would like to file a claim with the Division of Risk Management for your impacted well, please contact Ken to begin your claim process.

Website Updates

The DOT&PF Dillingham PFAS website has been updated to include information since the most recent sampling event. Community members and stakeholders can sign-up for or cancel community updates at the following link: http://dot.alaska.gov/airportwater/dillingham/; email: airportwater@alaska.gov with any questions.