Community meeting planned after PFC testing near former base - WNEM TV 5

Community meeting planned after PFC testing near former base

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OSCODA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Oscoda residents are being encouraged to attend an open house about public health and cleanup activities at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Air Force will update the community after drinking water wells near the former base were tested for perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s).

The testing came after PFC’s were discovered in drinking water wells for a mobile home park nearby. Only the drinking water wells between the former Air Force base and Van Etten Lake and Van Etten Creek are being investigated. City water for Oscoda is not impacted. 

PFCs are chemicals that are used in fire-fighting foams, non-stick (“Teflon”) manufacturing, electroplating, and textiles.  They are of concern because they stay in the environment for a long time and enter the food chain, which may result in health hazards to humans.

In May 2012, MDHHS issued a “do not eat” advisory for all fish caught from Clarks Marsh, south of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, due to high levels of PFCs in fish sampled from ponds in the marsh.  MDHHS also advised that people avoid eating non-migratory fish from the lower Au Sable River, downstream of Foote Dam, due to PFCs being found in fish sampled from the river. 

The open house will be held from 2-4 p.m. and community meeting will start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23 at Oscoda Methodist Church, located at 120 West Dwight Avenue in Oscoda.

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