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Air Force taking next steps to address PFAS at former Reese AFB

Paul Carroll, AFCEC BRAC environmental coordinator, discusses the Air Force's response to potential PFAS contamination of community drinking water on and around the former Reese Air Force Base at a public meeting in Lubbock, Texas, Feb. 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Malcolm McClendon)

Paul Carroll, left, a program manager for the Air Force BRAC program, discusses the Air Force's response to potential PFAS contamination with a member of the local community at a public meeting in Lubbock, Texas, Feb. 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Malcolm McClendon)

Paul Carroll, a program manager at the Air Force BRAC program, inspects a whole-house treatment system installed at a home near the former Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas, Aug. 22, 2018. The system is designed to remove PFAS from the home owners drinking water well. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Paul Carroll, a program manager at the Air Force BRAC program, inspects a whole-house treatment system installed at a home near the former Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas, Aug. 22, 2018. The system is designed to remove PFAS to below the EPA's Lifetime Health Advisory and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Protective Concentration Levels from the homeowner's drinking water well. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Representatives with the Air Force Base Realignment and Closure program host a public meeting in Lubbock, Texas, June 6, 2019. The meeting was to update the local community on the PFAS remediation efforts at former Reese Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Malcolm McClendon)

Representatives with the Air Force Base Realignment and Closure program host a public meeting to update the local community on the PFAS remediation efforts at former Reese Air Force Base near Lubbock, Texas, June 6, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Malcolm McClendon)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas --

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is taking the next steps in its response to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, attributable to its past activities, at the former Reese Air Force base near Lubbock, Texas.

“We’re initiating a base-wide investigation to further identify source areas of these PFAS of concern, better characterize the geology and hydrogeology, and determine the nature and extent of the contamination at the former base,” said Paul Carroll, BRAC program manager. “This is the next step in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit and compliance plan issued to the Air Force by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.”

Carroll added the results of these investigations will be an Affected Property Assessment Report, which once approved by the TCEQ, will help him and his team to develop the long-term response action to address PFAS contamination from the former base.

“This is another step forward in the Air Force’s aggressive response to PFAS contamination,” Carroll said. “We been began sampling and responding in November of 2017 and have been at it ever since to ensure we are protecting human health.”

To date, AFCEC has sampled more than 500 private wells and community water system wells downgradient from the former base. Of those, 231 private drinking water wells and three public drinking water wells exceed the EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory of 70 parts per trillion for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, and/or additional PFAS for which the TCEQ has published Protective Concentration Levels.

“As soon as we found private drinking water wells were impacted above the EPA LHA and, or the TCEQ PCLs, I personally contacted each well owner to go over their sample results and explain the next steps we would take to ensure they have a drinking water supply meeting the EPA and TCEQ levels for PFAS,” Carroll said. “We install whole-house treatment systems consisting of granular activated carbon and ion exchange resin to the impacted wells and are monitoring those systems.”

Carroll said having these systems in place, providing drinking water under the recommended levels, allows them to move forward with the APAR, which is expected to run till approximately 2023, pending funding availability.

For more information on the Air Force’s response to Reese visit: https://www.afcec.af.mil/Home/BRAC/Reese.aspx

For more information on the Air Force’s response to PFPOS/PFOA visit: https://www.afcec.af.mil/WhatWeDo/Environment/Perfluorinated-Compounds/