IMAGE: PFAS

Community leaders and Michigan veterans are demanding action from the local air force base, to clean up contamination of PFAS here in their water.

Residents held a press conference Wednesday asking the U.S. Air force to clean up PFAS contamination at the former Wurtsmith Air Force base.

“It came in two separate chunks, the first was the south part with the Au Sable River in 2010, 11, and 12. And then in 2016 those of us here on the lake were informed that we were impacted,” said Tony Spaniola, who lives on Van Etten Lake.

He’s also with the organization Need Our Water and said the contamination of PFAS from the U.S. Air Force base has been going on for years.

He said it’s left the entire community avoiding the water here on the lake, and that he wants something to be done about it

Spaniola is calling for the Air Force to, “To treat and clean the plumes that are impacting the beach on Van Etten Lake, the state campground here on Van Etten Lake and the youth camp here on Van Etten Lake.”

Air Force Veteran Craig Minor once lived in Oscoda and served at Wurtsmith Air Force base, he said the PFAS contamination effected his own family.

They lived there when his wife was pregnant with their son, who is now 30-years-old, mute and quadriplegic.

“Back when we were there no one told us a thing,” Minor said. “If we had known, if we were just told that there were potentially chemicals in the groundwater, we wouldn’t have drank it.”

Since then Minor and his family moved to Dayton, Ohio and he’s continued to take care of his family, while also spreading awareness for this serious issue.

“This issue here at Wurtsmith is only one small microcosm of something very much larger, this is happening on bases all over the country,” Minor said

Community leaders are meeting with the Air Force base officials, in order to get some sort of response on them taking action over this issue.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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