Skip to content
Community Update banner

King Salmon PFAS Project - July 2, 2020

Below is the King Salmon PFAS project update as of July 2, 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 regularly enter private residences in order to collect a water sample. They have implemented practices to protect staff, residents and the community.

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.

DOT&PF recognizes that some communities have set local ordinances specific to their area outside of Health Mandate 18 issued by Governor Mike Dunleavey 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

Quarterly sampling was performed in October 2019 and again in January 2020. Five samples were taken from private wells whose sum of PFOS and PFOA concentration were greater than or equal to 35 parts per trillion (ppt) during one of the previous sampling events, excluding locations that have detections exceeding the regulatory limit. Samples were also collected within 500 lateral feet of private wells meeting the monitoring criteria or that have exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lifetime Health Advisory level of 70 ppt for the sum of PFOA and PFOS.

There were no new exceedances from either of the two sampling events listed. Approximately 21 wells have been sampled in King Salmon. Of those wells, two have exceeded the EPA’s LHA. Alternate water continues to be provided. All well owners who participate in sampling events have received copies of their results from Shannon & Wilson, Inc.

Upcoming Work July 2020

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. anticipates collecting up to three quarterly samples from private wells whose sum of PFOS and PFOA concentration are greater than or equal to 35 ppt during one of the previous sampling events, excluding locations that have detections exceeding the EPA’s LHA. Samples will also be collected from private wells within 500 lateral feet of wells meeting the monitoring criteria or that have exceeded the EPA’s LHA.

Shannon & Wilson also anticipates collecting samples during one annual event from private wells whose sum of PFOS and PFOA concentration are greater than or equal to 17.5 ppt during one of the previous sampling events, excluding locations that have detections exceeding the EPA’s LHA. Samples will also be collected from private wells within 500 lateral feet of wells meeting the monitoring criteria or that have exceed the EPA’s LHA.

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. will revisit locations in the defined search areas where well owners the project team has been unable to contact.

Where possible, Shannon & Wilson, Inc. will attempt to contact each resident/business by phone prior to arriving in King Salmon.

Risk Management Updates

The Division of Risk Management has hired a new Claims Administrator, Ken Simpson. 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 King Salmon 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/kingsalmon/; email: airportwater@alaska.gov with any questions.