The Department of Defense (DoD) identified certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as emerging contaminants of concern which affected installations across the Air Force. When the term "Air Force" is used in this fact sheet, it includes Air National Guard (ANG). Specifically, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) are components of legacy Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) that the Air Force began using in the 1970s as a firefighting agent to extinguish petroleum fires. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued drinking water lifetime Health Advisories (HAs) for PFOS and PFOA, and health-based soil-based surface soil regional screening levels (RSLs) for PFOS, PFOA, and two RSLs, surface soil and drinking water for PFBS.
The Air Force is systematically evaluating potential AFFF releases on all Installations and former Installations. It began with the Preliminary Assessments (PAs) that identified potential release areas. Historical records were reviewed, and first responders, fire chiefs, and hangar staff were interviewed to determine where a release or a spill may have occurred on an Installation (for example, aircraft crash site or an accidental hangar AFFF release). Once the information in the PA was collected, Site Inspections (SIs) were initiated to collect soil and groundwater samples and analyze those media for 16 different PFAS at the potential release areas. The intent of the SI is to determine if a release has occurred and determine if there are impacts to soil and/or groundwater. The next step in the process is the Relative Risk Site Evaluation (RRSE). The RRSE is a DoD-wide methodology to evaluate the relative risks posed by chemicals present at a site in relation to other sites. The RRSE is a tool used to sequence funding for which installations have the highest priority to begin a Remedial Investigation (RI). The DoD premise in installation sequencing is “worst first,” meaning the DoD Component shall address installations that pose a relatively greater potential risk to public safety, human health, or the environment before installations posing a lesser risk.
The results of the Channel Islands ANGS PFAS Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection can be found at the Air Force CERCLA Administrative Record (AR): here. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Continue to site”, then select Air National Guard, scroll down the Installation List and click on Channel Islands ANG Station, CA, then enter the AR Number 474990 in the “AR #” field for the PA. For the SI, enter the AR Number 585340. Then click “Search” at the bottom of the page. Click on the spy glass to view the document.
More information on the Air Force response to PFOS and PFOA can be found here.
Protecting human health is our priority. When there's a potential our missions are having, or may have had, and adverse impact on our communities, we take appropriate measures to protect it.