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Muskegon County finds 20 more wells with detectable PFAS levels

Map of Muskegon County PFAS testing area
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Map of Muskegon County PFAS testing area around the county airport.

Health officials in Muskegon County have found 20 more wells with detectable levels of PFAS chemicals.

The county is testing in the area surrounding the Muskegon County Airport because PFAS chemicals have previously been found in wells there.

More than 110 wells have already been tested, and five homes had PFAS levels above the EPA advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

Dominique Jenkins, a Norton Shores resident, lives with her husband and seven-month-old son next to the airport.

She says a county official told her she doesn’t qualify for free well testing, at least, not yet.

“I just explained to him that I didn’t understand how we didn’t when we’re so close to the airport, and also [there are] these houses that have tested positive so far for that,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins and her husband bought the home a little more than a year ago and she says she can see the airport property from her backyard.

Kathy Moore, Muskegon County Public Health Director, says there is a high possibility that the testing zone will expand, but she didn't give a timetable for when that might occur.

Jenkins says she still hasn’t been notified about when her well might be tested.

“We still haven’t heard anything, we haven’t gotten anything in the mail, no letters, so that’s kind of alarming,” she said.

Moore didn’t say how high the levels of PFAS were in the five wells that tested above 70 ppt, only that the results were “troubling.”

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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