PFAS

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

As part of his budget proposal announced Monday, President Trump wants to slash funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90 percent. 

Today on Stateside, Governor Whitmer announced a plan earlier this week to introduce a 45 cent gas tax by October 2020. Are there enough road workers to put all that funding to use? Plus, Ingham County is building a public defender office from the ground up. We talk about the challenges of developing a brand new governmental department. 

Jacques LeBlanc, a commercial fisherman from the Bay Mills Indian Community, pulls a gill net out of the ice on eastern Lake Superior.
Kaye LaFond

This week on Points North, a decline in lake whitefish is pushing tribal commercial fishermen to the northern edge of their treaty waters. Plus, we look at test results for PFAS contamination in Michigan’s public water and meet a funk band from Boyne City.


A map showing PFAS sites in Michigan
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Updated, February 25, 2019

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has released results of a 2018 state-wide sampling of public, school and tribal water supplies for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

Today on Stateside, the EPA on Thursday released a plan to deal with contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – better known as PFAS. U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee says the plan shows the agency is “dragging their feet.” Plus, what it’s like to straddle two worlds as the first person in your family to go to college.

Today on Stateside, we talk about what's in the Environment Protection Agency's new plan to address PFAS contamination. Plus, Valentine's Day is all about showing love, so how about showing love for the place that you live?  

 

Today, we speak to MLive reporter Paula Gardner, co-author of an investigative report that found PFAS chemicals are still being released in large quantities by businesses across the state. Plus, a new bill proposed in the state Senate would remove protections from some Michigan wetlands on private property. Opponents say it would have devastating effects, but supporters say it's protecting property owners from government overreach.  

Kaye LaFond

Oscoda Township will get $1 million to address PFAS contamination. The money comes from U.S. Department of Agriculture grants and will be spent to hook up over 200 households to the municipal water system.

 

Firefighting foams containing PFAS were used at Wurtsmith Air Force Base for decades until the base closed in 1993. Some Oscoda Township residents have had to clean their water or rely on bottled water since.

 

Democrat Dan Kildee of Flint secured the funding.

 

Over the past two years, Michiganders across the state have become aware of the chemicals known as PFAS. They first made news when elevated levels were found in more than 20 private water wells in Oscoda. Now, there are 35 known contamination sites around the state.

Today on Stateside, why the auto industry is breathing "a sigh of relief" after President Trump announced the trilateral trade deal that will replace NAFTA. Plus, an Oscoda resident shares his experience of being affected by PFAS contamination, kicking off Michigan Radio's week-long series on contamination by the chemicals across the state.    

PFAS firefighting foams are still housed at fire stations across the state, according to the state fire marshal. PFAS are a family of chemical compounds that have been found at multiple sites across the state and have been linked to health problems including cancer.

Kevin Sehlmeyer is the State Fire Marshal. He said his office surveyed one thousand fire stations across the state to determine how many still have firefighting foams with PFAS in them.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

State officials will begin using drones to find water contamination. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will use drones to look for PFAS in Lake Margrethe near Grayling this week.

Elevated levels of PFAS were found at Camp Grayling on Lake Margrethe in 2017. PFAS compounds come from fire fighting foam among other things. They can cause cancer and reproductive problems. 

State of Michigan

People in Blair Township are now dealing with PFAs contamination. On Friday, twelve households started getting bottled water at the township hall. That’s after contamination was found in wells this week. 

PFAs are found in things like fire-fighting foam and are linked to cancer.

Michigan's primary is two weeks away on August 7. 

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, and he joined Stateside to talk about his campaign and his plans for Michigan's future.

 

 

The EPA held a national PFAS Summit in Washington on Tuesday to dive into issues surrounding the per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances which have contaminated groundwater in sites across the country, including 31 known sites here in Michigan. 

 

 

New information has come to light about the way the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality handled an important warning on possible toxic chemical contamination of groundwater in Belmont, in west Michigan. 

At least 14 communities in Michigan have water contaminated with a family of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

One of those sites, in West Michigan, has gotten a lot of attention recently. This month, the state abruptly announced a cleanup standard for PFAS.

But these chemicals have been a pollution problem in the state for years.

In Oscoda, some residents are wondering why remediation is taking so long.

Michigan has set new cleanup rules for chemicals that have contaminated drinking water sources all around the state. The chemicals in question are per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

They were used in firefighting foam and in a wide range of products, from fast-food paper wrappers to textiles and carpeting, pesticides, printing inks, and more. They have since been linked to some cancers and other health problems.