Residents concerned about chemical in their water - WNEM TV 5

Residents concerned about chemical in their water

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Residents in one Mid-Michigan community are concerned about a possible poison contaminating their drinking water.

It comes from a chemical known as PFA, which was formerly used by the Wurtsmith Air Force base in Oscoda.

The effects of the contamination may be even worse than originally reported.

“We know it’s been here. We just didn’t know the extent,” said Chris Coulon, a member of the group Need Our Water (NOW). “This chemical is especially dangerous because it’s very persistent. It doesn’t break down easily. So your options for getting rid of it are very limited and expensive.”

They knew it was bad, but new research shows PFAs could be six times worse than scientists originally thought.

The problem Oscoda residents are faced with is the federal government is blocking the report from changing the safety levels.

"If that real action should be 1/6 or 12 parts per trillion then that could be huge," said Arnie Leriche, Oscoda resident.

Residents are fuming.

“Personally, it makes me feel that our federal government is not acting in our behalf,” Leriche said. “I’m ashamed our agency is doing something like this such as delaying reports.”

NOW is a group dedicated to fixing the problem. They packed the library to discuss the suppressed report and what can be done.

“Written letters. We’ve done videos. We’ve done everything we possibly can to let them know how we feel,” Coulon said.

The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a summit on Tuesday. The NOW group has been in talks with representatives who are going to that meeting. They are hoping they will be able to discuss this with the EPA.

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