Office of Domestic Preparedness Blog

PFAS News Release


PUBLIC HEALTH ADMINISTRATION 

IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE

May 9, 2019 

www.vbcassdhd.org

800.210.1921 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) this week informed Hartford Township that it is expanding its ongoing investigation into groundwater contamination from the former Du-Wel Metal Products site at 520 Heywood Street in Hartford to include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, EGLE received test results from 12 monitoring wells identifying levels of a PFAS compound known as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as high as 8,690 parts per trillion (ppt) on the grounds of the former plant and as high as 285 ppt near the plant. This is well above the current United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Lifetime Health Advisory level of 70 ppt. 

The City of Hartford’s municipal drinking water system was tested in August 2018 and showed no detections of PFAS. Schools on private wells in Van Buren County were also tested and showed no detections for PFAS. 

There is currently no data showing PFAS contamination in any private residential well in the area, but the monitoring well data requires further investigation. 

There are 50 residential drinking water wells northwest of the Du-Wel site north of 60th Avenue and following the 65th Street north past Red Arrow Highway that are currently being monitored for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Homeowners in this investigation area will be contacted by phone or in-person by EGLE’s contractor, Global Remediation Technologies, Inc. (GRT), this week to have their well tested for PFAS. Testing will be expedited and EGLE expects to have initial results by the week of May 20, 2019. Decisions about testing private wells beyond this initial area will be made based on results from the initial round of testing. 

Drinking water with high levels of PFAS over a long period of time is linked to some health conditions. Scientists are still learning about how PFAS can affect health. 

As a precaution, the Township is providing a water station at the Hartford Fire Department at 436 E. Main Street in Hartford for the 50 residential well owners within the existing Du-Wel investigation area who may have concerns about their water pending PFAS testing results. 

Township and state officials are planning a town hall meeting at the Hartford Federated Church (Hartford Bible Church), 65418 Red Arrow Highway, Hartford, MI 49057 on Wednesday, May 15th from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Du-Wel investigation. 

Any resident with questions should contact the Township at 269-621-4658 or EGLE’s Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278

For more information about PFAS, please visit the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) website at Michigan.gov/PFASResponse 

Walt Grech