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Congressman Dan Kildee Announces Federal Grant to Oscoda Schools to Ensure Safe Drinking Water for Students

August 13, 2018
Press Release

Grant Will Change School Water Source After Dangerous PFAS Chemical Contamination Threatened Groundwater Near School

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today announced that Oscoda Area Schools will receive a $50,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to bring safe drinking water to students. The federal grant will help pay to change the school’s water source and connect it to an existing Au Sable Township water main after Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) were found near the school’s current water supply.

“Ensuring my constituents, including Oscoda residents, have access to clean drinking water is one of my top priorities in Congress. I am proud to have worked with local residents, school administrators and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to quickly bring this federal grant to Oscoda,” Congressman Kildee said. “We must do more to urgently address PFAS contamination, as well as provide safe drinking water to those affected.”

Plumes of PFAS were recently found on Oscoda Area Schools’ River Road campus, putting the school well in danger of being contaminated if the plumes moved. After learning of the issue earlier this year, Congressman Kildee worked with USDA Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett and USDA Michigan Rural Development Director Jason Allen to bring these resources to Oscoda.

“Because of the leadership and guidance of Congressman Kildee’s office, we feel extremely fortunate to have worked with the USDA and obtained the resources necessary for Oscoda Area Schools to ensure that our students and community will have safe water sources for years to come,” said Scott Moore, Oscoda Area Schools Superintendent.

Congressman Kildee has repeatedly pushed the Trump Administration and all levels of government to more urgently address PFAS contamination across the country. Last month, Congressman Kildee and Congressman Upton lead a bipartisan letter calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen protections for PFAS in drinking water.

Earlier this year, Congressman Kildee testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans’ Affairs Committee to urge the DoD and Congress to do more to clean up toxic contamination, including around former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda. Congressman Kildee and a bipartisan group of Members sent a letter to Administrator Pruitt in December 2017 asking the EPA to do more to help the state of Michigan and the U.S. Department of Defense’s efforts to address PFAS.

Additionally, Congressman Kildee, along with Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, worked to include language authorizing a health study on PFAS exposure in the National Defense Authorization Act, which became law in December 2017. In March 2018, the three lawmakers successfully included funding to address ongoing drinking water contamination issues in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget bill.