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Snyder signs legislation requiring alternative water supply for contamination in Oscoda

Submitted by Phil Heimerl on January 11, 2017 – 12:56 amNo Comment
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The state or federal government must provide alternative water supplies to Oscoda residents whose water is contaminated as a result of substances migrating from government owned and operated properties under legislation signed Tuesday, by Governor Rick Snyder.

The legislation was prompted by groundwater and well contamination at the former federal Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda.

“Every Michigander deserves access to a clean, safe supply of water for drinking and cooking,” Snyder said. “This bill helps ensure that Michigan residents get the quality water they deserve in instances where their current supply becomes contaminated because of substances from state or federal properties.”

SB 950, sponsored by state Senator Jim Stamas, is now Public Act 545 of 2016.

As of mid-November, investigators with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality still didn’t know the extent of the contamination, which appears to have been caused by perfluorinated chemicals from a legacy of firefighting foam that was used extensively at the base in training and fire suppression starting in the 1970s.

Health officials are concerned about the contamination, especially with older individuals and pregnant women.

Wurtsmith was established as an air base in 1923 and closed in 1993.

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