FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018
Contact: Katie Parrish, Communications Director, (239) 537-9507
LANSING – As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected hold a roundtable meeting regarding PFAS contamination in Michigan this week, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) and community advocates called for increased transparency at the EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
“The people of Michigan deserve to be heard, especially when the state estimates that 1.5 million of us could be impacted. We deserve to have answers. This tightly-controlled and sanitized EPA-DEQ meeting is unacceptable and a missed opportunity,” said Bob Allison, deputy director of Michigan LCV. “This PFAS crisis continues to grow. We know it is impacting the health of our families and our communities. We will keep demanding action and are looking to lawmakers in Lansing to take charge and enact a real drinking water standard to protect public health.”
“For the residents of Oscoda who have been urging the state and federal government to act on PFAS for years, the EPA’s decision to hold private meetings that shut out the public comes as no surprise,” said Cathy Wusterbarth, co-leader of Need our Water (NOW). “This is a calculated strategy to avoid community input. What the EPA won’t hear today is that voluminous plumes of PFAS foam are now coating waterways in Oscoda. We can’t drink our tap water, can’t eat the fish. This is a true emergency. If they truly wanted our input, they would have organized these sooner and offered a public comment period.”
“For a month now we’ve heard that the EPA will come to Michigan to hear our stories and learn about the PFAS drinking water crisis that has impacted untold numbers of communities, including mine. Now, we get just two days notice of a meeting where only ‘approved speakers’ get to share their stories and concerns? This is simply unacceptable,” said Tammy Cooper, resident of Parchment. “What we are seeing from the EPA is simply a continuation of the same lack of transparency we’ve seen from the DEQ. The DEQ sat on a report from 2012 warning of this crisis and the EPA blocked the release of a health study proving Michigan’s current standard isn’t protective of public health. Our lives on the line. Michiganders deserve better.”