Oct 31, 2018

Oscoda Township, Mich., Receives Funds to Combat Emerging Contaminants

The township will use funds to target emerging contaminants in drinking water

Michigan township receives funds to address emerging contaminants in drinking water
Michigan township receives funds to address emerging contaminants in drinking water

Oscoda Township, Mich., received $1 million in two grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to connect homes that use well water contaminated with per- and polyfluoralky substances (PFAS) to the municipal drinking water system. The funding also will go towards cleaning the emerging contaminants found near the Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

The township will receive $750,000 in Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants and $250,000 in Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants, as reported by The Detroit News.

“Families in Oscoda have waited too long for resources from the Air Force to protect their families from harmful chemicals,” said Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, in a statement. “While I fought in Congress to get these funds for Oscoda to ensure drinking water for residents, the Air Force must do more to cleanup the contamination that they caused.”

The emerging contaminant issue was brought to the forefront last week when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Health and Human Services warned residents against eating deer and fish found in certain areas of the township. The warning was prompted after a deer tested at 547 ppb for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). The area in question is a 5-mile radius surrounding the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base property.

Kildee has introduced an amendment that passed Congress to double the USDA Rural Development’s Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants and has stressed the urgency of addressing emerging contaminants in drinking water.

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