Looking for PFAS contamination decades after a two-plane crash in Alberta
In 1985, two C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed at the 3 Canadian Division Support Base in Edmonton, Alberta. At the time, firefighters used aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) containing PFAS to help extinguish the blaze. Fast forward to 2005. The Government of Canada instituted the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP), with the goal of reducing risks to the environment and human health, and reducing federal financial liabilities posed by these contaminated sites.
Base-wide sampling of the Edmonton Base completed under the FCSAP program had revealed PFAS in the groundwater; however, a source zone soil assessment was never conducted. To help understand the full extent of the contamination, the Department of National Defence (DND) turned to Stantec. Our team members used newly developed standard operating procedures for PFAS sampling to assess soil and groundwater where debris from the 1985 plane crash was known to have been present.
Our assessment identified PFAS concentrations were higher in the crash debris locations, indicating multiple point sources in the area, with higher concentrations in groundwater and only residual concentrations in soil above the shallow groundwater surface. Our site and risk assessments are helping the DND achieve the goals set out in the FCSAP program.
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