Ottawa County leaders will provide a public update on PFAS study area at Friday meeting

    An Ottawa County town hall meeting has been scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at 5 p.m. (WWMT/MGN Online)

    County and state health department leaders have planned a town hall meeting for 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, to update the public on the 120th Avenue PFAS study area in Ottawa County's Robinson Township.

    The study was launched by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality after Robinson Elementary School’s drinking water tested above the EPA's lifetime health advisory level for PFAS. Drinking water for the school, on 120th Avenue, comes from a well.

    The meeting will be held in the main conference room of the Ottawa County Administrative Offices, at 12220 Fillmore St., in West Olive, Michigan.

    PFAS are man-made chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Some of those chemicals can stay in the human body for long periods of time; and there is evidence that exposure could cause long-term health issues in humans.

    Other than Robinson Elementary, all other schools in the Grand Haven Area Public Schools system are served by the Northwest Ottawa Water System. That system also was tested and the results for PFAS were far below the health advisory levels.

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health is working with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Grand Haven Area Public Schools and Robinson Township to create an action plan to ensure that the water residents are drinking meets appropriate state and federal standards.

    The meeting begins with an open house. Presentations will start at 5:30 p.m. Abigail Hendershott, a district supervisor with the state environmental department, and Paul Knoerr, a geologist and environmental quality analyst, are scheduled to provide presentations. William Farrell, a toxicologist with the state health department, also will make a presentation. Several other agencies will be represented as well. Those who are expected to attend include:

    • Lisa Stefanovsky, administrative health officer
    • Adeline Hambley, environmental health manager
    • Matt Allen, environmental health supervisor
    • Kristina Wieghmink, public information officer
    • Jennifer Sorek, public health preparedness coordinator
    • Nick Bonstell, emergency management director
    • Kathy Kuck, Robinson Township supervisor
    • Andy Ingall, Grand Haven Area Public Schools superintendent


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