The Martha’s Vineyard Airport commission moved forward with projects to mitigate groundwater contamination and improve transportation infrastructure at their meeting Thursday.

Ron Myrick, vice president of engineering firm Tetra Tech, came before the commission with a modified proposal for PFAS mitigation, first presented at a commission meeting on August 12th. Known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS are a group of toxic and long-lasting chemicals linked to firefighting foam, first identified in airport groundwater in 2018.

At the August meeting, Mr. Myrick proposed a PlumeStop activated carbon barrier to filter out the chemicals. A new proposal involves moving the filter closer to the area of contamination, along with the installation of six monitoring wells to better understand groundwater flow at the site, he told commissioners.

The commission unanimously approved $272,500 for the project at their Thursday meeting. Drilling for the wells begins in two weeks, and the barrier is slated to be installed in early December.

In other business, finance committee chair Richard Knabel said that airport cashflow is up and that fuel sales are comparable to pre-covid levels. “We’re still way ahead of the game,” he said, before turning it over to MVY director Geoffrey Freeman to outline a proposed project to reconstruct taxi lanes by the hangars.

The plan, Mr. Freeman said, comes following an annual meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration and MassDOT on capital projects at the airport, looking for projects best suited to grant funding. Costs for the project are estimated at $1.6 million in total, which they hope will be partially funded by the FAA. On Thursday, commissioners unanimously approved a preliminary $170,000 for surveying, geotechnical work and project administration.

Mr. Freeman also gave an update on airport statistics from September. Overall traffic was down 9.4% compared to last year, while commercial passenger traffic was up three per cent.

Following the public meeting, the commission entered executive session related to potential litigation concerning PFAS.

Thomas Humphrey