MI senators concerned over response to contaminated water at mil - WNEM TV 5

MI senators concerned over response to contaminated water at military bases

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US Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are raising concerns on how the Department of Defense is responding to contaminated water found in and around defense installations in Michigan.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals were used in firefighting foams and now a growing number of military bases are finding alarming levels of the chemicals.

In a joint statement, the senators said they are worried that the department is not addressing the issue quickly enough They also want to see a policy change on state drinking and surface water standards for some contaminations:

While we appreciate the challenges of addressing emerging contaminants such as PFAS, as well as the costs the military faces in addressing environmental contamination at bases throughout the United States, we are concerned about the pace at which the Department is proceeding to address contamination across Michigan. In addition, it has come to our attention that the Department may be considering changing its policy on compliance with individual state drinking and surface water standards for some contaminants, including PFAS. We would have great concern if in fact the Department or any of the individual branches were considering this action. Communities in Michigan are not at fault for the release of these harmful contaminants, and it is imperative that the Department do whatever is necessary to address the public health and environmental risks associated with exposure to these chemicals.

The contaminated at active and inactive bases include Wurtsmith, Camp Grayling, KI Sawyer, Selfridge, Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Escanaba Defense Fuel Supply Point, Battle Creek, Grand Ledge, and Kincheloe.

The senators secured $10 million for a health study on the impacts of PFAS exposure in order to establish stronger federal standards for defining safety levels of PFAS exposure.  

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