Applaud local government on PFAS action

Open communication with government representatives is a privilege that I truly appreciate. Citizens sharing insight with their local government to better the community … well, that’s simply the cat’s meow!

Example: In February, 30 individuals, from local government, the District Health Department No. 4, and community (Northeastern Michigan People for Social Justice), met to discuss perfluoroalkyls (PFAS) contamination in Alpena. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality geologists summarized data from their 2018 Supplemental Report, which tested soil, groundwater, and surface water contamination from the Alpena Hide and Leather Company.

We expressed concerns regarding the absence of PFAS awareness in the general community, and the omission of information about PFAS on frequently visited local government websites.

Our environmental advocacy group requested that municipalities:

∫ Add PFAS advisory information to the Alpena city, charter township and county websites,

∫ Post PFAS signage at waterways, if warranted,

∫ Advocate to the state DEQ for water testing of the Thunder Bay River,

∫ Establish an advisory board to promote consistent city-township-county communication on PFAS.

I am pleased to report that all four local government entities took action in response to these concerns:

∫ DHD4 website now has 30-plus PFAS documents and links. DHD4 reps advocate for Alpena with the DEQ regarding PFAS concerns. A PFAS resolution has also been proposed.

∫ The city’s website has links to state PFAS information under “Useful Info” and “Water and Sewer” and to its 2018 Water Quality Report.

∫ The charter township’s website has a link to DHD4 PFAS information under “How Do I” and “Search” and “Get Important Links.”

∫ The county has added links to DHD4 PFAS and Michigan.gov sites.

On behalf of Northeastern PFSJ, we applaud those officials from the city, township, county, and health department who moved forward on the issue of PFAS, making changes where needed, for the betterment of our community.

JANET FAIRCHILD,

Northeastern Michigan People for Social Justice