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Air Force Clean-Up Plans for Oscoda PFAS Need Community Input

National Wildlife Federation renews call for Gov. Whitmer to require clean-up to Michigan’s PFAS standards

OSCODA, Mich. (March 17, 2021) — The U.S. Air Force, which has announced plans for public comment on its options for cleaning up PFAS pollution in Oscoda, should bolster its engagement with local residents as it considers how to address contamination flowing into Clark's Marsh, a critical habitat area within the Huron-Manistee National Forest and a pathway for PFAS to enter the Au Sable River.

 “The Air Force has left Oscoda residents in the dark again for several months in preparing this proposal, and it has rejected requests from local leaders to be engaged in the process.” said Tony Spaniola, an attorney and member of the local community group Need Our Water (NOW). “Our community deserves far better than this.”

Public comment on the Air Force’s plans will begin Thursday.

"As we evaluate the proposed clean-up plans with our local partners, we encourage the Air Force to restore trust and transparency in the clean-up process through meaningful engagement with the Oscoda community and genuine consideration of public comments received on their proposed plans,” said Jennifer Hill, deputy director at the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center. “This cannot be a rubber-stamp to a foregone conclusion. Clean-up of PFAS pollution at Clark’s Marsh is critical for people, water, and wildlife.”

“Additionally, we renew our call for Governor Whitmer to immediately invoke her authority under the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure that Michigan’s strong PFAS standards are used as benchmarks both for these plans and statewide.” added Hill.

The Air Force will host a virtual public meeting about the clean-up plans on March 24, 2021. Registration is available here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6681340049776622859.

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