Improving Drinking Water Protections, Helping Oscoda with PFAS, Planning September Beach Cleanups

For Friday, Sept. 2, 2022

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1 – How can the state improve drinking water protections? 

Michigan’s environmental and health agencies are hosting virtual public engagement sessions on Sept. 7 and Sept. 12 on that very question. 

The governor issued an executive order in 2021 directing state agencies to review their role in drinking water systems. 

The idea is to prevent and respond to water quality issues and make recommendations, the governor says, “on what needs to be done to ensure every parent can hand their child a glass of water with confidence.”

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

The departments are hosting the two public engagement sessions to provide input on recommended changes. 

The Wednesday, Sept. 7, session is from 6-8 p.m. The Monday, Sept. 12, session is from 10 a.m. to noon. 

You can register via publicsectorconsultants.com; search for “Safe Drinking Water Act Public Engagement Sessions”.

2 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps to designate PFAS chemicals as a federal hazardous substance. 

The National Wildlife Federation, or NWF, says this will help areas like Oscoda. 

That area is the site of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, where firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals were used. 

NWF says the proposed designation makes it clear that no levels of the chemicals are safe for people, fish or wildlife. 

Earlier this summer, the EPA also released updated lifetime health advisories for several PFAS chemicals. These advisories are lower than those previously referenced by the Air Force as guideposts for cleaning up PFAS at Wurtsmith.

3 – Summer isn’t over yet. 

On Sept. 17, thousands of Adopt-a-Beach volunteers will clean up beaches on all five of the Great Lakes for an organization’s “biggest annual day of action.”

Organizers from the Alliance for the Great Lakes are hoping to gather up enough litter to reach the half-million pound mark for Adopt-a-Beach cleanups. 

You can find out more about September Adopt-a-Beach 2022 at GreatLakes.org

At last check, events planned for Michigan include a private cleanup at Tawas Point State Park.

Photo by C1 Superstar on Pexels.com

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen live). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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