Officials sent a letter outlining their priorities to address in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to address harmful PFAS chemicals.
The letter was sent by Congressman Dan Kildee and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick.
The letter addressed the House Armed Services Committee and was signed by 22 republican and democratic members of congress who are a part of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force.
“As members of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, we are writing in regard to policies that we would like to see included in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to address harmful PFAS chemicals impacting our communities and service members,” the letter read in part.
PFAS are a large group of man-made chemicals that have been used in many consumer and industrial products, such as non-stick cookware, waterproof fabrics and firefighting foam.
“Defense Department records tell us that the PFAS pollution problem on and near military bases is far greater than we previously knew. Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Dan Kildee, important progress was made in the NDAA for fiscal year 2020. But much more needs to be done to clean up legacy PFAS pollution at military installations and nearby communities,” said Scott Faber, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the Environmental Working Group.
The Michigan PFAS Response Team updated officials from St. Joseph County and White Pigeon Township on April 1 on their investigation on PFAS contamination around the former White Pigeon Paper Company.
Representatives from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services worked with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency to test 19 residential drinking water wells within White Pigeon Township in March.
Three of these drinking water wells tested equal to or in excess of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt for PFAS.
The Village of White Pigeon municipal water supply was tested for PFAS on Sept. 26, 2018. Test results showed no PFAS was found in the water.
The study area will be extended to 14 additional residences. Letters will be sent to homeowners in early April in the expanded study area and bottled water and filtered water pitchers will be offered until these homes can be tested.