Stamas: DHHS holding open house on Oscoda well water

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will be holding a public open house and meeting in Oscoda on March 23 to discuss the contamination around the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, said Sen. Jim Stamas.

“The safety of the water we give to our children to drink is critically important to all Michigan families,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “I want to make sure that everyone is aware of this public meeting, which will offer you a chance to learn about the contamination and the status of the clean-up efforts and to ask state health officials any questions you may have.”

The U.S. Air Force and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently sent some homeowners near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base letters concerning tests of their well water. The tests indicated that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were present in the water, although the levels for two PFCs were lower than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) values.

The DHHS followed up with a letter stating it could not predict who may be affected, and as a precautionary measure, it recommended that the residents whose wells were tested avoid drinking their well water or using it for cooking. Touching the well water is not harmful, so doing dishes and laundry and using it for bathing is fine.

The open house and public meeting will be Wednesday, March 23 at the Oscoda United Methodist Church at 120 W. Dwight Ave. in Oscoda Township. The open house is 2 to 4 p.m. and the public meeting starts at 6 p.m.

For more information about DHHS activities at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, contact Christina Bush in the Division of Environmental Health at [email protected] or 1-800-648-6942.