A new filtration system to mitigate the PFAS contamination in West Tisbury wells is on the table at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. The toxins in the groundwater discovered in late 2018 were tied to  firefighting foams used at the airport.

At an airport commission meeting Thursday, Tetra Tech vice president Ron Myrick pitched the use of PlumeStop, an activated carbon material intended to filter water flowing from the airport to neighborhoods in West Tisbury and toward Long Pond. PFAS are a group of chemicals used to make coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water; their longevity in the environment and accumulation in plant and animal tissue make them a particular cause for concern.

In November 2018, many residents in neighborhoods south of the airport were informed by the airport that the chemicals pose a “potential imminent hazard to human health” if ingested and asked to stop drinking well water.

Mr. Myrick told the commission on Tuesday that the measure would be a form of remediation at the source of the PFAS contamination.

“The idea is, let’s try to close the gate,” he said.

With groundwater flowing at about half a foot per day, Mr. Myrick said results would begin to appear in West Tisbury wells quickly. He said he hopes to run a pilot test of the PlumeStop material just south of the airport’s wastewater treatment plant, and potentially expand the practice later on.

“We’d be targeting certain areas to inject this solution in,” he said.

He said the pilot program would cost $185,000 and could be implemented this fall.

“The benefit is an immediate one,” he said.

The airport commission took no action on the proposal, but some commissioners asked if this method had been used at other airports. Mr. Myrick said Tetra Tech has used PlumeStop for PFAS leaks throughout the country.

Still, he noted that the filtration material isn’t a silver bullet for the dozens of homes affected by the 2018 PFAS contamination.

“There will be special things we need to do for different homes,” he said.

Also Thursday, airport director Geoff Freeman provided traffic numbers for July. He said both total operations (flights) and enplanements (passengers) increased over July 2021. Total operations reached 8,092 last month, compared to 7,578 in July 2021. Enplanements were up about 1,000 passengers from 17,030 last year to 18,029 this July.

Mr. Freeman also announced a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) study to be conducted at the airport, taking a look into the impact of its operations. Mr. Freeman said noise, traffic and types of aircraft will be among the things observed in the study.

The study will take place over the course of a year, with preliminary work likely to begin this fall. He said the $438,000 study will be covered by an FAA grant, with a goal of “getting an overall … picture of what the airport is doing,” Mr. Freeman said.