Read the full article by Sehvilla Mann

“Where do you get a blood test for PFASs? Is the federal limit for drinking water safe, if several states have set their limits lower? Is red tape keeping the Department of Defense from cleaning up the chemicals at military bases?

The Environmental Protection Agency heard those and other concerns at a roundtable event on Friday in Kalamazoo, attended by about 150 people. Although the EPA did not take comments from the general public, except in the form of notecards that officials say they will review later, some people invited to take part in the discussion had probing questions and pointed comments for federal and state officials.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, have been found in the water in several southwest Michigan communities. The City of Parchment shut down its municipal water system due to high levels of contamination. Chemicals in the PFAS family have also been found in private drinking wells in Richland Township and Springfield.

Parchment resident Tammy Cooper said that some candidates for public office (she didn’t use names) have used the city as a campaign backdrop, helping to hand out bottled water while the municipal system was offline. Cooper suggested that some of those politicians had a hand in the problem.

‘Some of our elected officials have decided to give authority to corporate polluters on how to police themselves, rather than to have oversight from independent agencies. Handing out water is a small consolation after you have decided to give authority to corporate polluters,’ she said.”