So excited to announce a special guest at our upcoming Pivot Party on July 11th at noon. This is our Environmental month and our zoom call will kick off with an update from Tony Spaniola on the PFAS situation in Michigan (and the US) and how our government is not protecting our environment and what we can do about it.
Tony Spaniola, son of Bus Spaniola - former Democratic State Rep for our District, will join us to talk about the need to take action on PFAS contamination
PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of chemicals that have been found across the state, including in Oscoda, and are linked to health problems including cancer. Spaniola is trying to ask for the Air Force to conduct clean up efforts of PFAs in Oscoda,. home of the former Wurtsmith Air Force base is the primary source of PFAS contaminants in the local water.
But, Tony has not stopped with helping his lake area. More than 400 towns contaminated. Millions of Americans affected. The largest-known polluter of chemicals that are nearly indestructible. Tony worked as a consultant on this new PFAS film documentary “No Defense,” by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sara Ganim (who broke the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal at Penn State). The film was just selected as a finalist for Best Picture at the Festigious Film Festival in L.A.
There’s also a good documentary on CNBC, which I think really explains how we got to this situation and ideas to get our water safe again https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/12/new-drinking-water-crisis--stemming-from-us-military-bases-pfas-contamination.html
While Michigan has a PFAS Action Response team that is studying the effects and doing press release warnings, there is no urgency, no governmental help to fix the contamination.
If you are thinking that this isn't affecting our district, think again.
An aerial photo of the former Velsicol Chemical Co. factory along the Pine River in St. Louis, Mich. The company made chemicals like DDT and PBB. The property is now a Superfund site.
Ask Francis “Bus” Spaniola about the current PFAS pollution crisis and he’ll likely respond with a Yogi Berra quote: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
Spaniola, a former state representative from Corunna, successfully pushed for regulations lowering the amount of polybrominated biphenyl, or PBB, allowed in Michigan meat and dairy products following the infamous 1970s statewide chemical poisoning.
Today, Spaniola sees parallels in the pushback against proposed regulations to reduce exposure to PFAS from business groups, utilities and Republicans, who are blocking a Democrat-sponsored bill to establish a state drinking water standard of 5 parts-per-trillion (ppt).
“Nothing has changed. It’s the same old story,” said Spaniola, 83, who served in the state House from 1974 to 1990. “People don’t want to admit it’s a problem.”
Please join our session on Saturday, July 11 at high noon, where we will discuss what environmental priorities exist in Michigan and our district and how the State Legislature can assist.