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PFAS Private Drinking Water Well Sampling

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PFAS Private Drinking Water Well Sampling

For information on the NSA Crane private drinking water well investigation of PFAS, please contact the NSA Crane Public Affairs Office at:
(812) 854-3524 or cran_nsa_pao.fct@navy.mil

 

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New Update as of 26 June 2019

The Latest

As of this date, the Navy has received preliminary test results from the sampling described in the background section below. As depicted in the chart, of the seven samples collected, PFOS/PFOA was not detected above the EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) or nanograms per liter (ng/L). Of the seven samples collected, six were non-detect for PFOS/PFOA and the one remaining sample result had less than 1 ppt for PFOS/PFOA. The private drinking water well owners were notified of their individual results by phone and mail.

NSA Crane Off-Facility Drinking Water Sampling Status as of Wednesday June 26, 2019
Initial Parcels Requested for Sampling Number of Potential Wells Identified Within Sampling Area Samples Collected Preliminary Results Received Validated Results Received Preliminary Results Received above the Lifetime Health Advisory Validated Results Received above the Lifetime Health Advisory
160* 18 7 7 7 0 0

*Original 160 parcels were identified as being located within the designated sampling area. Based on record searches, 18 private drinking water wells were identified on the 160 parcels based on database searches. Of these, 7 wells were sampled at the request of the owners.

What does this mean?

PFOS/PFOA was not detected above the EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory in the off-facility private drinking water wells.

The Navy responded to potential releases of PFOS/PFOA-containing substances at two potential PFAS source areas by testing nearby (within one mile down-gradient) private drinking water wells to:

  1. determine whether wells were impacted by any PFOS/PFOA that exceeded relevant concentration standards; and
  2. determine whether expanding the area of private drinking water well testing was necessary.


There were no detections and only one very low detection of PFOS/PFOA in the tested off-base private drinking water wells.

Alternate sources of drinking water are not needed.

Per Navy Policy, the Navy was prepared to provide alternate drinking water for any affected drinking water wells above the lifetime health advisory (LHA). Since no well exceeded the LHA, alternate sources of drinking water are not needed.

Expanding the designated sampling area is not needed at this time.

Had the Navy detected concentrations above the EPA health advisory of PFOS/PFOA in the nearby drinking water wells, the Navy would have reevaluated the scope of private drinking water wells that it would seek to test. The levels observed (i.e., low detections below the health advisory or not detected) mean that the Navy will not expand the scope of its private drinking water well sampling footprint at this time.

What’s Next

Respond to any promulgated state standards

Navy policy is to provide alternate drinking water to any drinking water wells impacted by Navy releases of PFOS/PFOA when those drinking water wells contain concentrations above the EPA lifetime health advisory. The Navy will reevaluate whether to provide alternate drinking water in light of any promulgated state standards. Should Indiana promulgate a standard, the Navy will reevaluate whether to provide an alternate drinking water source in light of that standard.

On-property investigations

The Navy is preparing to investigate the potential PFAS areas of concerns at NSA Crane beginning in Summer 2019. The process will begin after the Preliminary Assessment report is reviewed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Background

Naval Support Activity Crane

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane is located in southwestern Indiana, approximately 70 miles southwest of Indianapolis and approximately 90 miles northeast of Evansville, Indiana and covers more than 97 square miles (62,000 acres) of heavily forested and hilly terrain. NSA Crane’s 460 acre Lake Glendora Test Facility (LGTF) is located approximately 45 miles northwest of the NSA Crane main site. NSA Crane hosts over a dozen tenants, the two largest being the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division with its Strategic, Expeditionary and Electronic Warfare engineering and technical support missions and the Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) whose missions involve the storage, distribution, demilitarization, and production of munitions.

Areas for PFAS Drinking Water Well Sampling

The Navy had requested permission to sample drinking water obtained from private wells within the designated area near NSA Crane. The Navy has developed a proactive policy to address past releases of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS. These substances may be present in the soil and/or groundwater as a result of firefighter training activities at NSA Crane using aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).

Drinking water at NSA Crane is primarily from surface water from Lake Greenwood. Two on-installation drinking water wells are present at Ammunition Burning Ground and Ordnance Training Area Building. An off-installation facility, Glendora Lake Test Facility, located approximately 30 miles north of NSA Crane, obtains water from Indiana American Water – Sullivan (PWS ID IN5277009). Drinking water samples were collected from the water treatment plant at Crane, the two drinking water wells, and drinking water for Lake Glendora Test Facility, and samples were analyzed for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Although PFOA was detected in the samples, it is far below the EPA's lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for combined PFOA and PFOS was not exceeded in any sample (AH Environmental Consultants, 2016).

Based on information available to-date, two potential PFAS source areas have been identified (Figure 2).  One potential source area is a fire station where firefighting training activities occurred.  The other potential source area is a closed sanitary landfill where PFAS-containing materials may have been disposed.

Figure 1: Location Map of NSA Crane

Figure 2: Designated Sampling Area

Designated Sample Area

 

This drinking water investigation focused on the potential for off-property migration of PFAS to groundwater used as drinking water from private wells. The Navy has identified private drinking water wells within the designated area, which is the initial off-property residential well sampling area, as shown on Figure 2. To ensure water is not above the EPA lifetime health advisory levels, the Navy offered this private drinking water well sampling to all residents in the sampling area. The Navy sent letters to property owners in the designated area requesting permission to sample their private drinking water wells. Furthermore, the Navy, with the support of state and federal regulatory agencies, conducted a public Open House Meeting on May 15, 2019, with subject matter experts, and offered an opportunity to sign up for sampling appointments free of charge. The Navy wants to ensure that residents are not being exposed to PFOA and/or PFAS in their drinking water from historical operations at NSA Crane at concentrations exceeding the EPA’s lifetime health advisory level.

Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

PFAS are manufactured chemicals that have been used since the 1950s in many household and industrial products because of their stain‐ and water‐repellant properties. Within Department of the Navy’s (DON) operations, PFAS are most commonly associated with AFFF used primarily for firefighting (including response to plane crashes, equipment testing, training, or buildings where AFFF was used in the fire suppression system). PFAS are now present virtually everywhere in the world because of the large amounts that have been manufactured and used by international consumers and industry. Once these compounds are released to the environment, they break down very slowly. PFAS are considered “emerging” contaminants, which have no Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory standards or routine water quality testing requirements. The EPA is currently studying PFAS to determine if national regulation is needed.

The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) amendments require that once every five years EPA issues a new list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by public water systems (PWSs). The EPA issued the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) in May 2012. Between 2013 and 2015, all large PWSs serving more than 10,000 people and 800 representative PWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people analyzed drinking water samples for the 30 UCMR3 compounds, which included six PFAS compounds. In May 2016, the EPA issued health advisories for two PFAS compounds, specifically PFOA and PFOS. Health advisories are not regulatory standards, but they are health‐based concentrations which offer a margin of protection for all Americans throughout their lifetime from exposure to PFOS and PFOA in drinking water. The EPA health advisory level for lifetime exposure (termed the lifetime health advisory level) is 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS and 70 ppt for PFOA. When both PFOS and PFOA are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations should not exceed 70 ppt.

The DON Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment) (ASN (EI&E)) issued a policy in 2014 requiring on-base drinking water sampling for PFOA and PFOS for bases where groundwater was used as drinking water and PFAS could have been released nearby in the past. Under the policy, drinking water sources from on-installation sources were required to sample their finished drinking water by December 2015 if they had not previously been tested under UCMR3 and if an identified or suspected PFAS release was within approximately one mile and located up-gradient to the drinking water source. In June 2016, the DON issued an additional policy that required all DON installations not previously tested under UCMR3 or the 2014 policy to test their finished drinking water regardless of the drinking water source (installation or municipal) and regardless of proximity to a potential/known PFAS release to the environment.

In June 2016, the DON ASN (EI&E) also issued a policy to identify and prioritize sites for investigation if drinking water resources, on- or off-installation, are thought to be vulnerable to PFAS contamination from past known or potential Navy releases of PFAS. Sites with drinking water sources within one mile and downgradient from known or potential releases of PFAS were assigned the highest priority.

NSA Crane Drinking Water Investigation Documents

Open House Posters (May 2019)
NSA Crane Drinking Water Investigation Fact Sheet (May 2019)

Additional Documents

ATSDR Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Frequently Asked Questions
ATSDR Interim Guidance: An Overview of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Interim Guidance for Clinicians Responding to Patient Exposure Concerns
ATSDR Perfluoroalkyls – ToxFAQs
ATSDR ToxGuide for Perfluoroalkyls
Minnesota Department of Health Summary of Results: Perfluorochemicals in Home and Gardens Study
New York Department of Health: In-home Water Filtration Options for Household Drinking Water
USEPA Fact Sheet: PFOA & PFOS Drinking Water Health Advisories

Links

US EPA PFAS website
Assistant Secretary of the Navy PFAS website
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR)

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