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Wells near Guard base to be tested for chemicals

Authorities plan to test a number of wells near the Minnesota Air National Guard base for chemicals from firefighting foam used by base firefighters years ago.

Authorities plan to test a number of wells near the Minnesota Air National Guard base for chemicals from firefighting foam used by base firefighters years ago.

In the coming days, 18 households on or near Martin Road, north of the base, will receive letters from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency requesting their wells be sampled for perfluorochemicals, also known as PFCs.

According to the MPCA, the potential health risks of PFCs in drinking water are being studied at the state and federal levels. At high concentrations, some types of PFCs have harmed the liver

and caused developmental problems in laboratory test animals.

From 1960 to 1987, the airbase site was used to train Air Force and Air National Guard firefighters. During training, fires were set using jet fuel, oil and other fuels and then extinguished with firefighting foam suspected to contain PFCs.

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The area was tested several times between 1993 and 2007. In 2007, five of six test locations found low levels of PFCs. As a result, the MPCA ordered that a survey be completed within a 1ยพ-mile radius of the site to determine if the chemicals have traveled beyond the site.

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