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Truax Field begins PFAS remedial investigation

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Paul Gorman
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MADISON, WI -- This week the Air National Guard will conclude part one of the remedial investigation into the presence of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances at Truax Field.

The investigation marks the second major step in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act process.

Under a contract with EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., the resulting data will determine the nature and extent of PFAS present, and help determine the most effective means by which to clean up the site.

“The remedial investigation is crucial in continuing the progress towards the remediation of PFOS and PFOA on or around Truax Field,” said Col. Bart Van Roo, 115th Fighter Wing commander. “We are grateful to continue working with our local and state partners in moving forward in the next step in the CERCLA process.”

The RI began in late March with extensive surface soil sampling. The data provided by more than 220 bore sites throughout the base, helped determine the footprint in which more thorough testing was required.

On April 19, drillers with Plains Environmental Services, Inc. initiated the next phase, testing potentially contaminated sites with hydraulic profiling and electrical conductivity testing. Using a mobile drilling rig, 30 targeted sample points are being probed to a depth of up to 100 feet. The process provides real time soil permeability and conductivity data which can identify preferential pathways for contaminant migration.

The sampling points will also be used to procure ground water and additional soil samples in May and June. The aggregate data will then be compiled and analyzed to identify locations for the installation of monitoring wells later this summer, expediting the collection of further ground water sampling.

“We are excited to continue the important process of analyzing soil and ground water on our installation,” said Michael Hinman, a project manager with the 115th Civil Engineer Squadron. “This investigation effort is moving along in a very timely manner and we are excited to continue progressing through the CERCLA process. Special thanks goes to the National Guard Bureau for expediting this investigation at Truax Field.”

All data collected during the remedial investigation will support the next step in the CERCLA process, in which the Environmental Protection Agency recommends a preferred remedy. The proposed plan will be made available for public review and comment prior to being released.

The final EPA record of decision will then be used to prepare for and initiate PFAS cleanup on and around Truax Field.

“115th Fighter Wing members and their families have deep roots in the community and we share their concerns on this issue. We are committed to continuing the effort to protect the environment and resources around our installation,” Van Roo said.

For a detailed timeline of PFAS remediation efforts at Truax Field, visit the Wisconsin National Guard PFOS/PFOA information page at https://ng.wi.gov/pfas.