Read the full article by Natasha Blakely (Great Lakes Now)
“Sandy Wynn-Stelt, a resident of Belmont, Michigan, known for her fight against Wolverine World Wide and PFAS, earned the 2020 Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award from the U.S. EPA.
Wynn-Stelt is featured in Great Lakes Now’s documentary, ‘The Forever Chemicals,’ which brought audiences the story of her journey as she discovered the extent of the PFAS contamination in her private well and in her community.
‘It’s as serious as a heart attack, it truly is. It killed my husband. It took away my property values,’ Wynn-Stelt said in the Great Lakes Now program. ‘I have absolutely nothing left, it’s taken everything from me.’
In 2016, her husband died of liver cancer, and the following year Wynn-Stelt learned that her well water tested among the highest in the nation for PFAS contamination. Exposure to PFAS is linked to pregnancy troubles, cancer, liver damage, thyroid issues and more.
The Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award is given once a year to a community group or individual that worked with an EPA Superfund team during the site cleanup process.
‘Awards like this show that citizens have the ability to work with government agencies and get things done,’ Wynn-Stelt said in an interview with News 8.
According to the EPA, it was Wynn-Stelt’s involvement with cleanup of the Wolverine World Wide Tannery Superfund site in Kent County that garnered her the award. Wynn-Stelt hosted weekly neighborhood meetings, served as a liaison between residents and the EPA and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, played a key role in forming the local Community Advisory Group and more, all of which contributed to the EPA recognizing her role…”