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Gustavus PFAS Project - December 22, 2020

Below is the Gustavus PFAS project update as of Dec. 22, 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

COVID-19 updates and protection plans for DOT&PF and Shannon & Wilson were shared in the August 2020 community update. For more information visit http://dot.alaska.gov/airportwater/gustavus/

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 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.

View the DOT&PF COVID-19 Management Plan.

Updates Since August/September 2020

In August/September 2020 Shannon & Wilson conducted annual sampling of private wells whose PFAS concentrations exceeded 17.5 ppt of PFOS and PFOA combined or wells within 500 feet of those meeting that criteria. Wells that are considered affected were not resampled. Samples were also collected from monitoring wells that were installed in October 2019. Work to begin installing cisterns at impacted properties began. Three wells were drilled and sampled to assist in identifying a possible location for a community well to supplement rain catchment systems. The POET system installed as part of a pilot study was also sampled.

Upcoming Work December 2020

Shannon & Wilson will be in Gustavus for a quarterly sampling event Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020 for approximately five days. They will collect samples from approximately 16 private and 15 monitoring wells. Additional strategic samples will be collected based on information gathered by Shannon & Wilson from the community in result of the flooding. The three wells that were drilled to identify a potential community water source will also be resampled. An additional private well near the location of these three wells will be sampled to further understand the water quality in the area. The POET system from the pilot study will also be resampled.

Runway Resurfacing Project

Contractors have begun staging and preparing for an upcoming project to resurface all airport aprons and runways. The majority of this work only requires milling down 4-8 inches of asphalt from the main runway and the 2-20 runway along with the associated aprons and taxiways. Milling and repaving the asphalt in these areas does not require the DEC Contaminated Sites Program (CSP) oversight as the contractor will not be encountering contaminated media. Any work requiring excavation of potentially contaminated media will be reviewed and approved by the DEC CSP project manager to limit the mobilization of PFAS. As this project has been in the planning phase for a couple of years the project team and DEC CSP are actively reviewing the various phases of this project to ensure the most up-to-date guidance is applied.

Ditch Maintenance

As funding availability and weather allows, DOT&PF personnel will work on maintaining ditches on airport property. This effort is being coordinated through the DEC CSP. DOT&PF personnel will start in areas without PFAS contamination. Further preparation will need to take place prior to entering areas of contamination. This effort will be closely followed by the DEC CSP project manager to mitigate the mobilization of PFAS.

Risk Management Updates

The Division of Risk Management Claims Administrator, Ken Simpson, has been working with the contractor to begin surveying impacted properties for cistern installations. If you have not filed a claim with the Division of Risk Management for your impacted well, please contact Ken as soon as possible to begin your claim process.

Website Updates

The DOT&PF Gustavus 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/gustavus/; email:airportwater@alaska.gov with any questions.