North Pole Refinery
- Click on photos or maps for larger versions.
- Contacts updated: 10/10/2018
- Summary updated: 7/18/2019
For background on the history of this site, please see the Project History page
PFAS Present in Fish from Kimberly Lake
Map above shows the results of DEC's 2018 testing for PFAS in groundwater and surface water in the North Pole area. Click on the map to see a larger version.
Kimberly Lake is located to the northwest of the former North Pole Refinery. DEC investigated and discovered PFAS contamination in groundwater off the former refinery in 2018. During an expanded investigation, PFAS were also identified in Kimberly Lake at 122 parts per trillion (or 0.122 parts per billion). This discovery led to the sampling of Kimberly Lake fish. Both PFOS and PFNA were measured at levels of concern in all three fish from Kimberly Lake. Results show PFNA ranging from 16 – 22 parts per billion (ppb), and PFOS concentrations ranging from 47 – 68 ppb. The interim state advice is to not consume surface water or fish from Kimberly Lake. Kimberly Lake has been closed to fishing since April 2019 by the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (ADF&G) because of PFAS levels found in fish. The ADF&G released an emergency order closing Kimberly Lake to sport fishing.
- Kimberly Lake PFAS surface water results. For a full laboratory report of sample results, contact DEC at 907-451-2117.
- Additional DEC PFAS information.
- For PFAS related health questions or information, please see the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services PFAS webpage. Also see their fact sheet Perfluoroalkyl Substances Found in Kimberly Lake. (PDF)
- ADF&G's Emergency Order No. 3-R-U-02-20, Kimberly Lake remains closed to sport fishing. (PDF) (April 11, 2020)
PFAS Investigation of North Pole Area Water
DEC collected more PFAS samples in late fall/early winter 2018. Water from other water wells and surface water – including Kimberly Lake and Badger Slough – was tested for PFAS. Hydrologists chose the test locations to look for PFAS across a wide range of groundwater conditions over an approximate six square mile area in the direction of groundwater flow north and northwest of the former North Pole Refinery.
DEC recently evaluated the uptake of PFAS into garden produce irrigated with PFAS contaminated groundwater. Produce and soil samples were collected from a farm in North Pole to evaluate impacts from irrigation water containing PFAS. The results of this evaluation are summarized in the first fact sheet appearing below.
- PFAS Study in North Pole Area Produce, July 2019
- The March 2019 fact sheet about the PFAS Investigation has results of the 2018 water testing in the North Pole area and additional information.
- More information on PFAS on DEC's Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).
- Newsletter: Sulfolane Response Update (11/18)
- Contaminated Groundwater Advisory, (PDF), by DEC (11/18)
- FAQs on the Contaminated Groundwater Advisory (PDF), by DEC (11/18)
Piped Water System Expansion
Signing up For Water Service
- Zone 1 and 2 property owners may sign up for service at the City Offices beginning December 5th, 2018.
- Those who sign up by May 31, 2019, will receive a $500 early sign-up bonus - cash or credit.
- City of North Pole's website for sign-up
- See more in our latest newsletter
DEC's Contaminated Groundwater Advisory - November 2018
DEC recently issued a Contaminated Groundwater Advisory to all property owners within the North Pole piped water expansion area where many private water wells contain sulfolane, and/or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The advisory assists residents in avoiding unintentional contact with, or spreading of, the chemicals.
- See the Contaminated Groundwater Advisory (PDF)
- See Frequently Asked Questions on the Advisory (PDF)
- See more on this issue in the latest newsletter
Documents of General Interest
- DEC Sulfolane Response newsletter, November 2018
- Maps showing sulfolane plume monitoring results for 2018.
- DHSS Fact sheet on PFAS in Drinking Water (PDF) (November 2018)
- Groundwater monitoring reports for 2017
- DHSS fact sheet on Sulfolane Health Recommendations and Next Steps (PDF) (June 2013)
- DEC fact sheet "Sulfolane: Research Efforts by the National Toxicology Program (PDF) - June 2015, revised November 2018