PINCKNEY, Mich. (WLNS) — People in Livingston County called on state and national leaders to address the PFAS crisis in Michigan.
PFAS, chemicals that were long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products, have been linked to certain forms of cancer. They’ve been identified at sites around the state, including Lansing, Jackson and Livingston County. In all three counties, officials say drinking water is not contaminated.
Monday, a public forum was held in Pinckney where Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, as well as representatives from state and local agencies addressing the crisis, took questions from residents on the issue.
Slotkin says it’s one that all Michiganders need to pay attention to.
“If you cannot fish the lakes that your fathers fished, and your grandfathers fished, that is a threat to your way of life,” she said. “If you cannot give your child a glass of water without knowing whether or not it will give him or her an early cancer or learning disability, that is a threat to your family.”
Despite drinking water not being contaminated in Livingston County, PFAS is still concern for Hamburg Township resident Karen Pierce.
“I have a private well. I’m also an environmental activist so I’m concerned with what damage has been done to our environment and to our bodies,” she said.
Slotkin acknowledges the issue is one that will take time to fix, but adds legislation is moving forward in Washington.
“We have already passed out of committee legislation that would prohibit the military from using PFAS in any way after 2029,” she said. “And I put forward an amendment that said it should be sooner than 2029.”
Slotkin, who serves on the Congressional PFAS Task Force, also called on the Environmental Protection Agency to do more on the issue.
“A lot of our legislation that we’ve passed on the PFAS task force is to set a clear standard and do more research so we know that it’s solid, right? So they aren’t gonna keep lowering it year after year,” she said. “I don’t think they’re doing enough.”
Pierce says she wants more sites to be checked for contamination.
“The testing needs to be done, and action needs to be taken,” she said.