This is a list the state of Michigan doesn’t want to win.
Unfortunately, as Michigan Advance notes, we are “winning”:
Michigan has the most sites in the country known to be contaminated with the group of toxic chemicals known as PFAS, according to a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group.
The environmental and public health watchdog used federal reports from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense and Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute to create a contamination map of sites where PFAS, per- and polyfluorinated substances, have been found across the nation.
The group found 192 Michigan locations polluted with the substances, calling it a “severe” problem, but noted that the high number reflects the state’s aggressive testing and sampling program, led by the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART).
That last paragraph does explain, in part, why we might lead the nation in polluted water since we’re aggressively testing for PFAS across the state.
Democratic Senator Gary Peters is pressing his Senate colleagues to push for higher drinking water standards, but while we’re being led by anti-science Republican zealots in the so-called “cooling saucer” of the legislative branch, I’m not holding-out much hope for something to be done.
Michigan Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee from Flint co-sponsored legislation to press the Environmental Protection Agency to set a drinking limit of PFAS in the water. Currently, no such limit exists.
As The Detroit News notes, the Environmental Working Group is advocating for a PFAS standard of 1 part per trillion since these chemicals are highly toxic. The EPA has a drinking water health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion. But that’s an advisory. Not an “enforceable” limit.
PFAS have been linked to kidney and testicular cancers, thyroid disease, and other ailments. Naturally, why would the nation show any concerns for immediate action?
Now, had ISIS contaminated our water, rather than military sites, or corporations, I can guarantee you that we’d see faster action.
It’s beyond comprehension how this state’s conservative push for deregulation over and over again comes back to haunt us. Of course, Michigan conservatives are simply following the playbooks from their national donor base.
And as usual, it’s the rest of us who feel the pain, both medically and financially.
Why aren’t the corporations and the government who caused this crisis paying for their mistakes?