Evan Gonzalez, DetroitStockCity.com

From PBB to PFAS: Research and Action to Address Michigan’s Large-Scale Chemical Contaminations


In the media

No Defense: 'Do Not Eat’ public health advisory
“A December public health advisory issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for PFAS at a popular Oscoda wildlife area still has not been publicized, more than five months after it was issued. ”
Detroit Free Press: “Restrictions expanded near former Wurtsmith air base after PFAS found in most wildlife”
“State officials last year — too quietly, some contend — expanded hunting and fishing restrictions at Clark's Marsh, near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, after scientific studies showed excessive levels of PFAS in virtually every living creature tested from the area. ”
WEMU 89.1 FM: “1st Friday Focus On The Environment: New PFAS Film To Open In Ann Arbor”
“Sara Ganim is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with strong ties to Michigan. Her new independent film, ‘No Defense: The U.S. Government’s War on Water,’ looks into the PFAs contamination emanating from the old Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda and how our government’s conflict of interest has lead to inaction. WEMU’s David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak caught up with Sara in advance of the free screening of her film at the State Theatre in Ann Arbor on February 19th.”
Environmental Working Group: “PFAS Contamination of Drinking Water Far More Prevalent Than Previously Reported”
“New laboratory tests commissioned by EWG have for the first time found the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in the drinking water of dozens of U.S. cities, including major metropolitan areas. The results confirm that the number of Americans exposed to PFAS from contaminated tap water has been dramatically underestimated by previous studies, both from the Environmental Protection Agency and EWG’s own research. ”
BridgeMI.com: “Poisoned Michigan: How weak laws and ignored history enabled PFAS crisis”
“In 1973, an accident at a chemical plant in the small town of St. Louis in the middle of Michigan’s mitten triggered one of the largest mass poisonings in American history. ”
BridgeMI.com: “Forty years ago, Michigan had one of worst mass poisonings in U.S. history”
“Alpha Clark was there when they started to bury the carcasses. The tomb – a trench, actually – was in a field in remote southeastern Kalkaska County, a place of quiet amid the pine forests of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. ”
BridgeMI.com: “In a Michigan town with a toxic legacy, residents fought for decades to heal”
“Jim Kelly didn’t like his town’s toxic reputation. It was bad for business, bad for growth. So Kelly, then a city councilman, wasn’t thrilled in 1998 when a group of rabble-rousing residents formed the Pine River Superfund Citizens Task Force, calling on the federal government to detoxify the water flowing through the heart of St. Louis.”
Congress.gov: “H.R.535 - PFAS Action Act of 2019”
“This bill revises several environmental laws and requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFASs. These substances are man-made and may have adverse human health effects. A variety of products contain the compounds, such as nonstick cookware or weatherproof clothing. ”

Government Agencies

MDHHS: Public Health Advisory for Wildlife from Clark’s Marsh
From the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: “The purpose of this memo is to evaluate available information to determine if a presumptive ‘Do Not Eat’ public health advisory should be issued for all resident aquatic and semi-aquatic wildlife from Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda, Iosco County, Michigan. ”
File (PDF): MDHHS_Memo for Public Health Advisory for Wildlife from Clarks Marsh.pdf
National Conference of State Legislatures
Description: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) | State Legislation 2017-2018
Website: https://www.ncsl.org/research/environment-and-natural-resources/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-state-laws.aspx

Events + Conferences

Documentary Premier: “No Defense: the U.S. Government’s War on Water”
Date + Time: Feb 19, 7:00 pm
Location: Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor
Description: The film focuses on the PFAS contamination problem in Oscoda, Michigan, as a case study into how the U.S. military has failed to protect human health and the environment around the nation and the world. The PFAS contamination in Oscoda was discovered nearly 10 years ago, making it the first PFAS site in Michigan and the first PFAS military site in the world. The film's director, Sara Ganim, is a former CNN correspondent who won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal at Penn State; she also has done extensive reporting on water issues in other communities in the U.S, including Flint. Filmmaker Q&A following. Sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHe_95y87WY
Registration: Event is free to the public. Please RSVP if planning to attend
Website: https://secure.michtheater.org/websales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=664972~c76be4f4-22b5-4bed-a89c-7def863b8c53
PFAS Workshop at the Fate of the Earth Symposium
Date: Saturday, March 21st
Location: Kellogg Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Description: Registration (FREE) is now open!
Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fate-of-the-earth-2020-tickets-88700638999
National PFAS Conference
Description: Archived video and slides from the 2017 and 2019 conferences; Check back for information about the upcoming 2021 conference
Website: https://pfasproject.com/2019/02/05/2019-pfas-conference/

Websites + Organizations

PFAS Exchange
Description: An online resource center about PFAS contaminants in drinking water – helping communities understand their exposures and take action to protect their health
Website: https://pfas-exchange.org/
Description: An academic-community partnership advancing science on the health risks of PFAS in children and empowering communities to reduce their exposures and advocate for change
Website: https://silentspring.org/project/pfas-reach
PFAS UNITEDD: U.S. National Investigation of Transport and Exposure from Drinking Water and Diet
Description: A research partnership on the impact of PFAS in communities in three states (including MI) and to develop possible means for PFAS remediation
Website: https://www.pfasunitedd.org/
MSU Center for PFAS Research
Website: https://research.msu.edu/tag/pfas/
Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART)
Description: Hub for information about state PFAS activities and information
Website: https://www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/
PFAS Central
Description: Newsfeed for PFAS media coverage plus more educational and science policy resources at the Green Science Policy Institute
Website: https://pfascentral.org/