It is a tragedy when groundwater and waterways become polluted. Unfortunately, these things have recently happened in Oscoda. Oscoda is home to Wurtsmith Airforce Base, a former Air Force base responsible for the pollution. A number of federal lawmakers from Michigan have written a letter to the Air Force, asking them to clean up their mess and to stop the pollution.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, leaked into the local soil from the Air Force base. As a result, a toxic plume swept through the ground water and surface water. In the letter to the Air Force, the politicians from Michigan asked the Department of Defense to allocate money to help stop and clean up the pollution. They said that the Department of Defense should take some of the $310 million that they have been given to clean up a mess that is not the fault of the locals.
They went on to say that what has happened on the part of the Department of Defense goes against the water quality regulations of the State of Michigan. Suggestions have been made to provide more granulated activated carbon filter systems to stop the plume and clean the water.
According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, about $38 million must be spent this year in the pursuit of cleaning the mess up. Out of that large sum of money, $33 million would be used to construct six filters that would clean plumes that are currently polluting Van Etten Lake. It is expected that at least $180 million must be spent before the problem is rectified.
Many of us might wonder why such chemicals are even present at the base, to begin with. The chemicals that are leaking out have something to do with firefighting foam. They are very toxic and can cause cancer and problems with the liver, reproductive system, heart and kidneys.