89.1 WEMU

PFAS

The Green Room: PFAS Part IV-Prevention

Oct 25, 2019
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The chemical bonds of PFAS substances are virtually indestructible.  That makes their complete disposal hard, if not impossible.  Meanwhile, their usefulness to industry makes them hard to give up.  This is a growing problem, because PFAS are associated with serious health issues.  In the fourth of this five-part “Green Room” series on PFAS, we look at the challenges and opportunities inherent in preventing further spread of PFAS chemicals. 

Tony Spaniola
89.1 WEMU

Through the contentious and controversial process of passing a new state budget, there was a point when the Republican-led Legislature removed much of the money earmarked to address water issues in Michigan.  Most of the money made its way back in by the time Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the spending bills and rearranged departmental spending.  In this month’s "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," you’ll get reaction to the spending plans and a look at increasing bi-partisanship when it comes to protecting our waters.  89.1 WEMU’s David Fair talks it through with Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak and Tony Spaniola from the organization Need Our Water, Oscoda. 


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are being found across the country in the drinking water of community water supplies, residential wells, schools and daycare centers.  Where is it coming from?  Factory waste is a major source.  These “forever chemicals” don’t break down, and where PFAS-containing waste is dumped, it spreads.  In Segment III of 89.1 WEMU's five-part “Green Room” serieson PFAS, we explore a few of these sites.


International Association for Great Lakes Research / http://iaglr.org/

The 2019 algal bloom on Lake Erie now measures over 650-square miles and continues to expand.  At the root of the issue is agricultural runoff and, in particular, phosphorous. Ed Verhamme is a project engineer with the private water solutions firm, LimnoTech.  The company conducts research, analysis, and consults with governmental agencies and other stakeholders to advance the cause of safe and clean waters.  In this month's '1st Friday Focus on the Environment' conversation with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak, you'll get the latest on progress and the work towards solutions that lay ahead. 


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Over the last half-century, PFAS chemicals have been added to the formulation of innumerable products we use on a daily basis.  The manufacture and disposal of these products releases them to our environment, where they can get into our food and water.  Unfortunately for us, they can be harmful to our health, and they don’t biodegrade.  These “forever chemicals” have become pervasive in our lives.

Courtesy Photo / radioresultnetwork.com

A town hall meeting will be held Tuesday evening August 20th at Eastern Michigan University to address concerns over the man-made chemicals known as PFAS.  U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell from the 12th District is co-hosting the event with other local elected officials.  Dingell says that, while PFAS has been detected in the Huron River, the river is not the only concern.

Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Health Department / washtenaw.org

In this segment of our bi-weekly conversation with the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor area, WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with outgoing health department officer Ellen Rabinowitz and her replacement Jimena Loveluck.


Laura Rubin
Huron River Watershed Council / hrwc.org

After two decades as executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council, Laura Rubin is expanding her environmental mission.  Back in April, Rubin was named director of the Healing Our Waters, Great Lakes Coalition.  On the August edition of  “1st Friday Focus on the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters talk with Rubin about the first few months on the job and where the coalition is headed. 


University of Michigan
University of Michigan School of Public Health / sph.umich.edu

The appearance of the chemicals known as PFAs in local waterways has become a serious problem.  Yet, a recent study determined that certain foods contain such contaminants, as well.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses the research with Dr. John Meeker, professor of environmental health sciences at the U-M's School of Public Health.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been highly valued by industry as useful in a wide variety of products.  But, as more studies are conducted and more information comes to light, the more concerns grow.  In this first of 89.1 WEMU's five-part series on PFAS, we explore the growing list of health issues associated with PFAS, in " The Green Room." 


In this edition of "In the Public Interest," our bi-weekly conversation with the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area, WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with league member Terri Wilkerson about why the league is advocating for a complete shutdown of the major, underwater oil pipeline that travels under the Straits of Mackinac.


Matt Grocoff
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

According to one of the world’s leading, net-zero energy builders, the population has outgrown its manufactured water systems.  Matt Grocoff is founder of the Thrive Collaborative and has installed a rainwater system at his Ann Arbor home that he is working to make the water system of the future.  In this conversation with WEMU’s David Fair, Grocoff explains why a shift in the way we engineer our water systems is a necessity and how it can work on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


League of Women Voters in the Ann Arbor Area
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

This week on "In the Public Interest," our bi-weekly conversation with the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area, 89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with league member Carolyn Madden about the league’s efforts to advocate and influence public policy.

                  

michigan.gov

In her first few months in office, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has made infrastructure and clean water among her top priorities.  Whitmer outlines her environmental strategy and budget with 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director, Lisa Wozniak.