Cindi Martin is the new airport director

"Cindi Martin, the new airport director at Martha's Vineyard Airport, shakes hands with commission chair Bob Rosenbaum."

Cindi Martin, former airport director for Glacier Park International Airport, has accepted a contract as the new airport director at Martha’s Vineyard Airport, and is on the job.

The switch in leadership comes after former airport director Ann Richart vacated her position to become the state aviation director of Nebraska.

Martin’s contract calls for a $165,000 annual salary, and the airport is providing her with a $2,000 monthly housing stipend.

According to Airport Commission chairman Bob Rosenbaum, the airport has found Martin a place to stay for her first year, but is still considering housing options for the future. Since Martin’s contract is for three years, the airport will have to find her a more permanent housing situation. Rosenbaum also mentioned the Federal Aviation Administration allows airports to build a residence specifically for the airport director, so long as it’s on airport property.

“We are looking into what might be involved, so that we can look toward housing other directors in the future,” Rosenbaum said.

On Thursday, the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission also got an update from Ron Myrick of Tetra Tech, an environmental consultant that works for the airport, on the mitigation of per- or polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) found in wells and groundwater adjacent to the airport facility.

PFAS is a long-chain chemical compound (meaning it does not break down naturally in the environment) that comes from some firefighting foams used to fight Class B petroleum fires involved in aircraft-related incidents.

At the outset of the discovery of PFAS in groundwater in June of 2018, MassDEP issued a guidance protocol stating that 70 parts per trillion of 5 target PFAS compounds was an unofficial limit.

Tetra Tech has launched an immediate response action plan, submitted to MassDEP, to install treatment systems in private wells where PFAS was found at levels above 20 parts per trillion.

In April, after months of working with tentative standards for which PFAS can be present in drinking water, MassDEP proposed official draft standards of 20 parts per trillion.

A three-month comment period is currently ongoing — members of the public can contact MassDEP with questions or concerns regarding PFAS.

To date, Myrick said, 151 private wells have been sampled and reported to the state. There are still 40 unsampled private wells within the study area, but most of those are not within the higher-concern area near Edgartown–West Tisbury Road, Myrick said.

So far, 33 point-of-entry carbon filters have been installed at private wells above regulatory standards.

The next step for Tetra Tech, according to Myrick, is to test the remaining unsampled wells, install treatment systems as needed, and test for PFAS and other contaminants in the area of the old Naval Auxiliary Air Station.