New PFAS Test Results Reveal Water Contamination in Anchorage and Fairbanks

ACAT’s testing shows 12 popular lakes in Anchorage and Fairbanks North Star Borough are polluted with toxic PFAS chemicals, which are linked with liver and kidney damage, reproductive and development harm, immune system impairment, and certain cancers

PFAS was found in Anchorage lakes including DeLong Lake, Little Campbell Lake, Sand Lake, Sundi Lake, and Spenard Lake/Lake Hood, which contained the highest levels at 674.7 parts per trillion (ppt). That is nearly ten times EPA’s lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt.

Concerned citizens requested that ACAT conduct the sampling because the state of Alaska is dragging its feet, failing to test sites thought to be at high risk for PFAS contamination after its initial round of testing identified 100 polluted sites at thirty locations, including drinking water sources for twelve communities.

“The state is failing to address the problem of  PFAS contamination. Two bills to address PFAS are languishing in the Alaska legislature,” said Pamela Miller, ACAT Executive Director and Senior Scientist. “Senate Bill 121 and House Bill 171 would require greater protections for communities facing PFAS contamination and prevent further harm.”

In preparation for a press conference held today, ACAT prepared a report on its findings, a table containing the sampling results, a press release, and the briefing paper on HB 171 summarizing the main features of the bill.

“The key to getting PFAS legislation adopted in Juneau before the session ends on May 18, ” said Miller,  “is letters to the editor in papers all over the state along with messages sent to Alaska legislators to make it clear that Alaskans expect their elected officials to ensure their right to clean, safe, PFAS-free drinking water. We’re so close.”

Photo shows Claire Lewis demonstrating the use of a water sampling device. Claire and her neighbors asked ACAT to test private 
water wells and lakes in their Sand Lake Neighborhood.

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