PFAS Update: Senate Panel to Hold Hearing on Federal Role in Contamination; Michigan School Connects to Alternate Water Supply

PFAS Update: Senate Panel to Hold Hearing on Federal Role in Contamination; Michigan School Connects to Alternate Water Supply

A Senate subcommittee next month will take a close look at the federal role in the contamination of local drinking water supplies by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), Michigan Sen. Gary Peters (D) said Thursday. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee will hold the hearing — which is expected to include witnesses from DOD, EPA and affected Michigan communities — on Sept. 26, according to a press release. The contaminants have been detected in Michigan lakes and drinking water and outside two former bases — Wurtsmith AFB and K.I. Sawyer AFB. … A public school campus located close to the former Wurtsmith AFB, Mich., is connecting to a municipal water system because the campus well is threatened by PFAS contamination stemming from the use of firefighting foam to battle two separate fires since 1987. The foam was brought by Air force firefighters as part of mutual aid responses, reported MLive. The project, estimated to cost $123,000, received a $50,000 grant from the Agriculture Department. The Air Force is not aiding the project because PFAS levels in the school’s well are below the 70-parts-per-trilion health advisory level set by the Environmental Protection Agency and because “groundwater migration pathways from mission activities” at the base “have not been identified.”

 

MLive photo by Jake May

Dan Cohen
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