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PFAS mitigation efforts at Selfridge proving effective

  • Published
  • By Bruce Huffman
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs

Environmental officials at Selfridge Air National Guard Base report that samples indicate carbon-activated filters are effectively reducing levels of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, by as much as 71 percent in storm water.

PFAS refers to a group of synthetic compounds found in many products that are non-stick or resistant to water, grease, or stains. Items such as stain resistant carpeting, clothing, furniture, and paper and cardboard packaging, such as burger wrappers and microwave popcorn bags, all contain PFAS.  These chemicals are also found in aqueous film forming foam used to fight high intensity fuel fires, and are also used by the automotive and metal plating industries. 

“The ability to effectively contain, and remove PFAS from the storm water using carbon-activated filters has proven very effective,” said Mark Paasche, 127th Wing environmental manager. 

According to Paasche, Selfridge was one of the first Air National Guard bases in the country to utilize activated carbon filters to mitigate PFAS levels in storm water. The 127th Wing has also replaced its aqueous film forming foam with a more environmentally friendly alternative until a PFAS-free alternative can be implemented. 

Base officials communicate regularly with Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy representatives.  Water sample data and treatment results are shared quarterly. 

“The 127th Wing is committed to being a good steward of the environment,” said Paasche. “The test results are very encouraging, and indicate that we are making great strides to mitigate this risk.”