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Thu Apr 12, 2018, 08:35 AM

200 Homes In Oscoda, MI Using Bottled Water; PFAS From Closed Airbase In Wells, Lake Huron, Fish [View all]


For years Wurtsmith, which closed in 1993, has been recognized as one of the most polluted places in Michigan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed designating the base as a national Superfund site in 1994, but it was never officially listed. The EPA withdrew its oversight in 2016, leaving the Air Force and state agencies to handle the cleanup while the town and county redeveloped parts of the base. The public library is located there, as are homes, churches, play fields, a plastics manufacturer, an airplane maintenance company, and a healthcare facility.

But groundwater contamination from PFAS and other toxic substances below the new facilities spreads largely unchecked. The steady dose of chemicals into the area’s natural riches has upended lives in Oscoda. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says that people should not eat fish that live year-round in the lower Au Sable River and in Clark’s Marsh, a wetland adjacent to the base where some of the highest chemical concentrations have been measured.

Drinking water is affected, too. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has told more than two hundred households near Van Etten Lake that are on private wells not to drink their tap water. The state is providing bottled water or faucet filters, and the town is using federal grant money to extend public water to some of the homes.

But even the public water supply is at risk. Traces of the chemicals are now found downstream, in Lake Huron, the source for the regional water system. It is even in the treated water, at a few parts per trillion, that is supplied to 14,000 homes.



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Reply 200 Homes In Oscoda, MI Using Bottled Water; PFAS From Closed Airbase In Wells, Lake Huron, Fish [View all]
hatrack Apr 2018 OP
gibraltar72 Apr 2018 #1
NNadir Apr 2018 #2