Michigan Water Burned By Global Warming

It is terribly sad that the Environmental Protection Agency was so focused on Global Warming it dropped the ball with the lead contamination in the Flint, Michigan water supply. The State of Michigan also reacted lethargically to the health crisis involving lead in the water supply after untreated water was allowed to flow to the city. The story gained national attention and brought key people down like the former head of The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Dan Wyant who was forced from his job in December 2015. Attorney General Bill Schuette is now prosecuting several other local and state employees that were involved in the problems that swamped Flint and it's water.

Now it appears that the DEQ and EPA were asleep at the wheel for years, even though they had been warned about the prevalence of toxic chemicals in Michigan water supplies that could come with far worse consequences. The state has known since at least 2011 there were major concerns involving chemical compounds commonly referred to as PFC’s or PFOA’s. Much of the contamination they were warned came from foam used to fight fires in all branches of the military. In fact, every airfield in America had the so-called AFFF, firefighting foam and some may still.

This is the source of contamination now being battled at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda and Camp Grayling. The state now admits it has found contamination far worse than has been previously disclosed.

What is deeply concerning however is the DEQ and the Michigan Department of Public Health commissioned a study in 2011 that provided clear and convincing evidence of contamination and provided warnings about the implications, but the state it seems did little or nothing at the time. In fact, the report is nowhere to be found on-line or in any state agency that I’ve been able to determine.

It is my understanding that then DEQ Director Wyant received the report but declined to pass the recommendations or the warnings it contained on to Governor Rick Snyder. We simply do not know if Governor Snyder was ever made aware of the studies results and findings.

What we do know is the EPA and DEQ need to spend a lot more time focused on critical matters like cancer-causing agents becoming ubiquitous in Michigan drinking water threatening public health and a lot less time worrying about polar bears and whether or not real estate in Miami will be under water.