contaminated water still plagues lakeside community in michigan

by:Kenwei      2019-09-12
On a December morning two years ago, Anthony Spaniard\'s wife looked out at the window of their lake house in the northern Michigan town of Oscar da and told him it had fallen.
But the bubble of his property floating in the wind is not snow.
Later the Spaniard learned that it was actually a chemical.
A lace substance formed on the surface of the nearby Lake Van Etten.
After testing the foam, state officials finally confirmed contact with compounds that were used to extinguish fire at a nearby air force base. fuel fires.
The Spaniard and his neighbors were initially told that the foam was safe, but a month later they were warned to avoid it and keep their pets and children away from it.
He sent photos to local journalists and began reading the compounds mentioned by some experts related to health risks, called \"PFAS \".
Since then, the Spaniard has concluded that pollution is not an isolated event.
\"They just came back when I realized it was a huge, broad issue --of-
\"Yes, you\'re right,\" he said of state officials . \"
Oskoda and Michigan are not unique.
Over the past few years, communities across the country have discovered high levels of PFAS chemicals from the water of military bases or manufacturing bases.
Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn a large number of federal regulations, and it is expected that the agency will soon release a new national plan to deal with PFAS.
Although Trump officials often talk about excessive government expansion and cumbersome regulation, several lawmakers said that if the EPA does not set stricter restrictions on the production of chemicals such as PFAS, they will push legislation forward.
This issue has caused great controversy, and Senate Minority party leader Chuck Schumer has threatened to prevent acting EPA director Andrew Wheeler from becoming chief executive if the agency does not take more action
Communities in Schumer\'s home state of New York are also dealing with high levels of PFAS pollution.
\"We have another opportunity for the federal government to take a look and publish regulations on PFOA and PFOS, but the signs don\'t look very good, Schumer said at a press conference last week.
\"I met with Mr. nominee.
Wheeler, I asked him to speak out the rules and he said he wasn\'t sure he would.
\"The EPA has previously said that it may change the official name of certain types of PFAS chemicals to\" dangerous \", triggering more requirements to clean them up.
But recently, Wheeler said he could not commit to setting mandatory restrictions on chemicals in terms of drinking water.
PFAS, for per-
Polyfluoride substances can index hundreds of chemicals, including those linked to the foam of Lake Van Etten-PFOS and PFOA.
In addition to the military fire foam that is still in use today, PFAS chemicals are also used for various household items such as carpets, non-stick cookware and food packaging.
These chemicals are very common, and recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that almost everyone in the United States has this chemical. S.
There are measurable chemicals in the blood.
In oskoda, authorities tracked that the wooltz Smith Air Force Base, which was closed in 1993, was contaminated by Lake Van Teten.
Like many other air force facilities, the base uses specialized foam fire fighting.
PFOS and PFOA in the foam penetrate into the drinking water wells of the base, penetrate into the groundwater, and spread to 8-
Miles of plume from nearby swamps, the Au Sable River, Lake Van Etten and Lake Huron, are sources of drinking water for thousands of people.
In 2010, Michigan began testing PFAS and related chemicals at the Air Force Base.
Two years later, a national environmental agency scientist warned of pollution, but according to the National Audit Office, most state and local officials did not know the findings until 2017.
Property near Oscoda, including Spanish Lodge, was eventually classified as a \"focus area\" of chemical plume in October 2016 \".
Until 2017--
Seven years after testing at the base, a group of high school students visiting Van Etten Lake reported seeing strange bubbles ---
A special working group in Michigan was flown in and the authorities expanded testing of nearby waters.
Due to concerns related to PFAS pollution, residents are still advised not to eat fish or deer that are hunted in the area.
In small towns like Oscoda, these restrictions are very strict, where locals work as lifeguards in the summer and eat fish caught in the Au Sable River.
Seasonal tourists and outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing are part of the local economy.
At the same time, recent studies have shown that exposure to PFAS can lead to immune system disease and, at a higher level, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and even some cancers.
Science on such chemicals is not advanced enough to link exposure to a diagnosis of a particular health problem, but toxicologist Richard Deschamps says there is enough evidence to prove that residents\' concerns are
\"For this particular set of compounds, they attack the immune system unconsciously,\" said DeGrandchamp, who is at the University of Colorado and co-
Wrote the 2012 report on the Michigan issue.
\"Unfortunately, many of our children live in the United States. S.
The immune system may be damaged now.
\"Cathy woostebath helped set up a propaganda group called\" need our water \"or now, she said, she worked as a lifeguard at the lake for a few years when she was young, he also worked as a civilian employee of the Air Force on the water.
Wusterbarth said she was diagnosed with breast cancer and arthritis when she was 28. -
What she thinks is the situation caused by exposure to PFAS-
Related chemicals.
Wusterbarth recently attended the State of the Union address as a representative guest.
Dan Kildee, representing Oscoda and Flint, is trying to raise concerns about pollution.
Kildee recently set up a PFAS task force to help members of Congress understand the issue.
\"We want to be a catalyst for change and help education,\" Wusterbarth told ABC News . \".
The Spaniard said that even if he could not clearly prove pollution, he blamed pollution for his health problems.
He said he was diagnosed with diarrhea at the age of 50, and his wife had thyroid disease, which the couple thought was the cause of exposure to chemicals.
He also said the two dogs died one after another within a year, which he called suspicious.
\"When these dogs go to Oscoda, they jump into the lake and drink water from the lake like crazy,\" he said . \".
\"Do I think PFAS have something to do with this?
Of course, there is no doubt in my mind.
Air Force officer Mark Correll, who is in charge of environmental clean-up, said he understands the frustration of the residents, who fear that they will be exposed through other channels.
\"It\'s not unreasonable for them to be watched ,[because]
We don\'t know what the impact of PFOS and PFOA on health is, \"said Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Air Force environment, safety and infrastructure.
The Air Force installed equipment to prevent pollution from spreading for the first time in 2015, and has since been working to upgrade systems for other types of pollution at the filtration base to deal with PFOS and PFOA.
Air Force officials say they have tested private wells and public drinking water systems in the area and no one has access to PFOS or PFOA through drinking water.
At that time, only one was well tested on top of the EPA proposal, and the Air Force then linked the property to public drinking water supply.
Officials from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said they accused the Air Force of not taking more measures to prevent pollution.
BBC spokesman Scott Dean said in a statement that officials are actively working to hold the air force accountable.
Dean wrote that the objective of the office was to \"see these notices of violations and the actions ordered to provide a full remedy to the people of Oscoda . \".
But Air Force officials say they are still conducting a federal dispute resolution process with the state, which cannot accuse them of violating the clearance requirements while the process is still in progress.
They also say that since the Department of Defense needs to follow federal law in most cases, they cannot follow Michigan law unless Congress specifically waives federal requirements.
EPA has set recommended drinking water limits for PFAS chemicals, which is not enforceable, and when chemicals are detected in surface water such as groundwater or lakes, the agency has no rules.
Correll said the Ministry of Defense wanted to stress that the PFAS response required a \"holistic government response\" from the national government, including addressing the health impact and looking at people\'s exposure through other means such as food supply.
\"Our point is that we have a responsibility, but at the same time it is a bigger problem,\" he said . \".
The report was published on Tuesday, February.
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