Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Salcha Wells Test Clean

Jun 30, 2020

Additional test data has alleviated concern about contamination of two public drinking water wells near where fire-fighting foam residue from Eielson Air Force Base was dumped.

Dan Bross / KUAC

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has submitted a new fine particulate pollution control plan for the Fairbanks-North Pole area, to the Environmental Protection Agency. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the updated plan is required because the area has failed to meet a federal Clean Air Act standard for the health damaging fine particulates, known as “P.M. 2 point 5”, produced by burning wood, coal, and oil.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

A judge has begun deliberation of a lawsuit filed five years ago by the State of Alaska against a former owner of the North Pole Refinery. The state seeks tens of millions of dollars from Williams Alaska Petroleum for contaminating the area’s groundwater and to help pay for cleanup and expansion of North Pole’s water system.

Organic Incineration Technology

A North Pole area environmental remediation company has been approved to incinerate PFAS contaminated soil. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, Moose Creek based Organic Incineration Technology is the first facility permitted to burn soils tainted by PFAS containing firefighting foams, which have polluted numerous sites around Alaska, including several in the Interior.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

The state has rolled back a stricter PFAS drinking water contamination standard, and suspended development of new regulations for the chemicals. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the PFAS changes implemented by the administration of Governor Mike Dunleavy, come despite growing concern about health impacts of the perfluorinated compounds in firefighting foams, which have contaminated groundwater at several locations in Alaska.


A North Pole lake, and its fish, have tested positive for PFAS chemicals linked to a range of human health problems. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the lake is in an area where groundwater is already known to be contaminated.


The City of North Pole will begin accepting applications next week for area residents who want to connect to the town’s recently expanded water system.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed regulating a group of flourinated chemicals collectively known as PFAS, including some that have infiltrated groundwater in the Fairbanks area. DEC proposes to set a cleanup level for groundwater contaminated with the chemicals.

Alaska Department of Natural Resources

The Army Corps of Engineers last fall halted cleanup of fuel-tainted soil near Birch Lake, about 60 miles south of Fairbanks, when workers uncovered buried junk that included barrels with residues of a different contaminant – the banned pesticides DDT and chlordane

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Fairbanks City Councilman David Pruhs has directed staff to draft a plan over the next 90 days on how the city will respond to the growing problem of groundwater contamination caused by chemical compounds in firefighting foam. Pruhs told City Attorney Paul Ewers Monday that the plan must include a way for the city to compensate homeowners who could be paying for the local response to the contamination through their property taxes.