2012 PFAS report warned DEQ of danger
PARCHMENT, Mich. —
Some say the PFAS problem could have been dealt with years ago, potentially saving people from disease and death, after a report was released, that some say, was withheld from the public.
A report titled Michigan's Contaminant Induced Human Health Crisis was presented to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in 2012 and there are warnings in it about the prevalence of PFAS in the state.
State Rep. Winnie Brinks, D-76th District, said, “What I say is that they knew about this six years ago and did nothing about it until this year so those facts speak for themselves. The fact that there are other states that have done less, does not excuse their inaction when they had knowledge of this significant health risk for six years.”
Brinks said the report, for whatever reason, never really saw the light of day and now, we're paying the price. She said Governor Rick Snyder's PFAS testing plan is late in the game as a result.
The governor's communications director responded to those criticisms, not mincing words, reading in part, "Soundbites that scare people in an attempt to score political points are useless. Actions that the state and local officials are taking to provide safe water to the residents of Parchment and Cooper Township in the short, medium and long term are what will help protect the public health in southwest Michigan and across the state.”
The governor's communications director said he nor the legislature ever saw the 2012 report.
The DEQ is accused of burying it, and only recently releasing it after being pressed to do so.
The governor's office did not directly address the existence of the report, but did say that Snyder started the initiative to test for PFAS in the state this year.
Some however said that if this report were public sooner, the problem would have been dealt with already.