Democrats Renew Call for Oversight Hearings on PFAS Amid New Revelations

Known contaminant found at former military base may have caused cancer
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

MUSKEGON — Court filings this week in Kent County reveal Wolverine Worldwide and 3M were made aware of toxic water contamination as early at 1999 but they did not alert state or local authorities, according to a report from MLive.com. This news comes on the heels of recent reports that contamination at a former military base in Oscoda may have caused cancer. Legislative Democrats introduced several proposals during this legislative session to promote and protect clean water in Michigan, but calls for action and oversight hearings have so far been ignored by House and Senate Republicans.

“Every week, we hear of another site — another family’s water — that has been contaminated by PFAS thanks to continued inaction in Lansing,” said state Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), former member of the U.S. Air Force and current Democratic vice chair of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “Like every other Michigander, I’m tired of it. After the recent revelations that PFAS may have caused cancer at a former military base, we cannot wait any longer for legislative Republicans to wake up to the very real danger that these toxic chemicals pose to our veterans, our families, our communities and our state economy. It’s time to get to work to protect public health and safety once and for all.”

Earlier this month, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced it would conduct PFAS testing at more than 11,300 sites across the state after residents in Kalamazoo County were forced to switch to bottled water when Parchment and Cooper Township water systems were found to be contaminated.

House Democrats introduced legislation to toughen drinking water standards and hold polluters accountable for dumping on Michigan lands and in our water. This legislation, along with proposals to create a Citizen Oversight Commission to protect natural resources, continues to sit untouched in Republican legislative committees. Numerous calls for action from members of both the House and Senate Democrats have so far been ignored, including most recently on July 30.

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