Michigan’s new, stricter drinking water standards for the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS have been lauded as among the toughest in the nation and as good news for residents who live near contaminated sites that now will require cleanup.
But for residents of Oscoda Township, where the federal government’s activities at a former air force base have contaminated area groundwater, surface water, and even the flesh of fish and wildlife, the celebration over the stronger standards is tempered by frustration.
A decade since scientists first discovered contamination caused by past firefighting activities at now-defunct Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan’s first known PFAS site, Air Force officials say they will not commit to meeting the state’s tougher cleanup standards. And in the meantime, residents say, the military branch is using federal money intended for PFAS cleanup to instead conduct more studies of a well-documented problem.
Michigan Environment Watch, 17 August 2020