Lawmakers, Residents Criticize DEQ For Sitting on PFAs Report for Years

Jul 12, 2018

Democratic leaders, environmentalists, and some residents say there must be greater transparency following news reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sat on a report on toxic chemicals in drinking water for six years.

The DEQ report, from 2012, outlined concerns about elevated PFAs levels at Department of Defense Bases and fire training facilities. The report was uncovered by MLive through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

Tony Spaniola is a part-time Oscoda resident, where PFAs contamination has been found leaking from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

“We’re beyond uncomfortable when people who suppressed the report continue the shroud of secrecy, tell us everything is basically okay, and announce themselves as leaders,” he said.

Spaniola says he wants to know why the report wasn’t released to the public, who was involved in its suppression, and why the author of the report was barred from speaking to media.

Cody Angell is a Plainfield resident and founding member of Michigan Demands Action Against Contamination. Plainfield is a PFAs contamination site from the Wolverine Worldwide Leather Tannery.

“We have a two year old that has incredibly high levels of PFOS and PFOA in his blood and had we acted upon the information in the report this child may never have been exposed to these types of contaminants had the DEQ done something prior to this point,” he said.

PFAs have been linked to cancer, decreased fertility, thyroid disease, and asthma, among other things.