Livingston County’s Congresswoman is inviting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to visit Michigan and hear from PFAS contamination victims first hand.
Michigan has the highest number of known PFAS-contaminated sites in the country. Holly Democrat Elissa Slotkin has made mitigating PFAS contamination a priority, particularly as it relates to the Defense Department’s role in that contamination. Slotkin serves on the House Armed Services Committee and recently sent a letter to Secretary Esper in response to news that he established a Task Force to address PFAS contamination. In her letter, Slotkin highlights the impact on constituent communities in Michigan and also shared examples from her recent visit to Strawberry Lake in Hamburg Township, which is part of the Huron River Chain of Lakes where foam from PFAS contamination is visible. Pinckney is also highlighted, which has been under a “do not eat fish” advisory for nearly a year and a “do not touch foam” advisory for the past few months. Slotkin commended Secretary Esper for establishing the PFAS Task Force as a first step in the Department of Defense taking action to address contamination around military installations and surrounding communities. She further invited Esper and members of the Task Force to visit Michigan to hear from PFAS contamination victims first hand.
Slotkin said as “As a Michigander and former Pentagon official, I know what an important role the Department of Defense has to play in PFAS contamination and clean-up in our state, and how hard it has been for the Department of Defense to accept responsibility for environmental clean-up, given the use of aqueous film-forming firefighting foam across the country.” She says the issues must be addressed as environmental security is in fact homeland security and it is clear that PFAS is a threat to safety. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Slotkin says she helped secure provisions in the base text of the NDAA that hold the Department of Defense accountable for PFAS contamination cleanup originating from AFFF, or PFAS-laden firefighting foam found in and around active and former military bases. She added “When residents of the Great Lakes state, home to the greatest concentration of fresh water in the world, cannot hand our kids a glass of water with confidence that it is safe to drink, that is a threat to our way of life.” The full text of Slotkin’s letter is attached. (JM)