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Local water advocacy groups want Pruitt gone from the EPA

Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA
Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA

Water advocacy groups in Michigan concerned about PFAS contamination want Scott Pruitt to resign as head of EPA.

This week, emails surfaced detailing the EPA’s decision to hide a report on the danger of chemicals known as PFAS.

According to the emails, the report was kept under wraps to avoid a “public relations nightmare.”

Chris Coulon, a member of the group Need Our Water – or NOW – says Scott Pruitt should not be allowed to head the EPA after hiding this information from the public.

“And I believe that our elected officials feel the same. Not just for this, but for a lot of things. Ethics, abuse of power, all of that,” Coulon said.

PFAS – the family of chemicals once used by Wolverine Worldwide to waterproof leather at its tannery in Rockford – can also be found at several sites around the state. PFAS were also used in firefighting foam at military bases in Michigan.

Coulon says calling an environmental health issue a PR nightmare is the wrong attitude.

“First thing that we want to do is protect the health of the residents,” she said.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters sent a letter to the EPA, the White House and the Department of Defense, urging that the report on PFAS be made public.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee also urged the president to release the report on PFAS exposure earlier this week.

It is unclear if the EPA, White House, or Department of Defense have responded to these requests.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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