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Environment and Outdoors

The Air Force will investigate former Loring Air Force Base for PFAS

Loring Air Force Base
David Sharp
/
AP
Sun sets behind the control tower of the former Loring Air Force Base on Saturday, July 18, 2020, in Limestone, Maine. The base, which was once home to B-52 bombers, was closed in 1994 as part of a Defense Department effort to cut costs.

U.S. Air Force engineers this summer will test more than 20 sites at the former Loring Air Force Base for so-called forever chemicals to ensure they have not spread since the base closed in 1994. Firefighting foam used in training exercises at the base contained PFAS and was found in initial samples taken from the main runway and aircraft parking areas. Carl Flora, the president and CEO of the Loring Commerce Center, said the military will handle any remediation needed.

"Anything that the air force was responsible for at the time they turned over the property to us. Even if something new is discovered, such as PFAS, they have an obligation to come back and address it," Flora said.

PFAS are known to cause cancer, birth effects and other health risks. Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's PFAS in Fish guidelines recommends no more than 3 fish meals per year of brook trout from Durepo Pond and Limestone Stream, and no smallmouth bass from either waterway.

Flora said he expects the US Air Force to be testing siteS in and around the former base throughout the summer and the military will handle any remediation that is needed. The Bangor Daily News reports that Air Force officials will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Limestone Community School to address questions.