Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest recently sampled for per- and polyfluoroaklyl substances (PFAS) at Imikpuk Lake located near the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow, Alaska to determine whether PFAS were present.
Imikpuk Lake is not a primary source of drinking water however the Navy took a proactive stance, protecting the local community with surface water tests. Five samples taken indicate an exceedance of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lifetime health advisory level established forthe combined total of two specific PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
The Navy will continue to work directly with community leaders and other federal, state and local agencies to ask the community to avoid using Imikpuk Lake water for drinking and cooking. In May 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued lifetime health advisory levels for two PFAS, specifically perfluorooctane sulfonate, PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA, at 70 parts per trillion, individually and combined. While there are no EPA regulations for these compounds, the EPA established these lifetime health advisory levels to offer a margin of protection for all Americans throughout their life from potential adverse health effects resulting from exposure to PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
The Navy will hold a public meeting Thursday, September 14, 2017 at the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to share preliminary results and discuss the way forward. Subject matter experts will attend the public meeting to answer attendee questions.
For any questions please send an email to PAO_Feedback@navy.mil or leave a voicemail at (360) 396-1030.