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Congressman Dan Kildee Invites the EPA to Oscoda for PFAS Tour

October 1, 2018
Press Release

After EPA Announces Michigan PFAS Tour, Kildee Says Oscoda Should Be Included

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) sent a letter today to the Trump Administration inviting the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to Oscoda during its visit to Michigan to learn more about toxic chemical contamination. As one of the first places in Michigan to experience per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, Oscoda uniquely illustrates the issues Michigan communities are facing.

“It is important that you, as the EPA’s representative, see first-hand how local residents are being impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances contamination. I am confident it will be a valuable experience for local residents as well as the EPA,” Kildee’s letter reads in part. “Oscoda was one of the first communities in the nation to discover that there was PFAS contamination in drinking water from the use of firefighting foam at military bases. As such, the local residents have significant experience addressing the issue.”

The letter to Peter Grevatt, Director of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water at the EPA, urges the EPA to visit Oscoda where toxic chemicals from firefighting foam at the former Wurtsmith Air Force base have leeched into the residents’ drinking water supply. This letter comes after Peter Grevatt announced on September 27, 2018, at a Senate hearing on PFAS that the EPA would visit Michigan in October. It was previously announced Michigan was cut from the EPA’s national tour to visit communities affected by PFAS.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Mr. Grevatt:

I am writing to request that you visit Oscoda, Mich. during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) upcoming trip to Michigan.

It is important that you, as the EPA’s representative, see first-hand how local residents are being impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. I am confident it will be a valuable experience for local residents as well as the EPA.

After the EPA announced that Michigan would be the second stop on its nationwide PFAS tour, I was pleased to hear at the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Hearing that the EPA would be coming to Michigan in October. I am pleased this opportunity will allow Michigan residents to show the EPA how they are dealing with PFAS’s impact during their daily lives.

I believe for the following reasons that Oscoda should be one of the places that you visit while in Michigan:

  • Oscoda was one of the first communities in the nation to discover that there was PFAS contamination in drinking water from the use of firefighting foam at military bases. As such, the local residents have significant experience addressing the issue.
  • The plume of PFAS in Oscoda is well mapped, yet still unpredictable. This causes unique challenges for environmental remediation.
  • The state of Michigan has attempted to come to a cooperative agreement under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act with the Department of Defense to clean up PFAS contamination in Oscoda. This is the only site in Michigan currently engaged in the CERCLA process for a federal facility.
  • Oscoda is experiencing waterbodies that have unexplained foam appearing on its shores. Additionally, just last week the U.S. Coast Guard observed a large amount of unexplained foam near Oscoda.

Thus, it would be a failed opportunity to come to Michigan and not visit the community that has been working to address this issue for the longest time.

Please reach out to Jordan Dickinson (Jordan.Dickinson@mail.house.gov) in my office to help coordinate a visit.

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.

            Sincerely,

            Daniel T. Kildee 

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