UPDATE: (Dec. 15)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – During the PFAS response update from Cannon Air Force Base, Air Force Civil Engineer Center Restoration Project Manager Chris Gierke gave information on the ongoing remedial investigation, the pilot study, and the next steps.

For the remedial investigation, Gierke said that installation has been ongoing for 13 new on-base monitoring wells. Seven wells had been installed by the time of the quarterly update. Gierke said that the remaining wells are expected to have the installation completed in the upcoming months, while also planning 15 off-base monitoring wells.

via Cannon Air Force Base

Regarding the pilot study, a number of extraction and injection wells were proposed for the focus area of the study. With six total extraction wells and six injection wells and a treatment plant, as well as their proposed methodology, Gierke said that officials are aiming for efficiency as well as a “net zero” impact on the aquifer water level.

The design phase for the pilot study will hopefully be finished by January 2023, according to officials.

The update also highlighted the publicly accessible Admin Record, which can be used to view administrative reports regarding the PFAS response.

While officials said they have continued to plan for future meeting formats, the next quarterly update on the PFAS response is expected on March 15, 2023.

Original Story:

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – The Air Force Civil Engineer Center will release a recorded update on Wednesday of the Department of the Air Force’s efforts to address per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) identified at Cannon Air Force Base, according to an announcement.

Officials with Cannon AFB announced that the update will be available on Wednesday at 10 a.m. CST on its website. Questions that were sent in are expected to be answered during the update.

As noted in previous reporting, the 27th Special Operations Wing from Cannon AFB expected to host December’s quarterly PFAS response update virtually, but officials were, “determining the most secure and effective way to reinstate live public updates.”

PFAS, considered toxic “forever” chemicals, are man-made and found in some firefighting foam previously used at Cannon AFB to put out aircraft fires and for training. The AFCEC said the chemicals have been found in groundwater samples around the base, spurring ongoing efforts to clean it up.

During the last update, a project manager for the clean-up effort said they would soon start a pilot study to install a small-scale water treatment system, which could help protect drinking water and accelerate long-term actions to address PFAS contamination near the base.

Since the last quarterly update from Cannon AFB, the EPA also announced a proposal to close a “loophole” that allowed some companies to get out of reporting how much PFAS they were dumping. The proposal would also remove a supplier notification exemption that, according to the document, would help those that purchase mixtures and products containing those chemicals be informed of that chemical content.

Researchers have reported that exposure to types of PFAS has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, as well as thyroid disease and high cholesterol. PFAS are called “forever chemicals” at times because instead of breaking down over time, they linger in peoples’ bodies and the environment.