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State seeks citizens to join PFAS workgroup

PFAS foam on the Huron River.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

State officials are seeking members for a citizen advisory workgroup to advise the state on chemical contamination.

PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of chemicals that have been found across the state and are linked to health problems including cancer.

The Citizen Advisory Workgroup would work as a liaison between communities impacted by contamination and the state.

Scott Dean is with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. He said citizen groups have already sprung up at PFAS contamination sites, including at the former Wurtsmith base in Oscoda.

“And we’re really looking forward to having a more direct channel to work closely with these types of individuals to make sure we’re addressing the public's concern,” Dean said.

The group will also be tasked with informing PFAS-impacted communities about some of the work the state is doing.

“By bringing them together we think we’re going to have a much more powerful response,” Dean said. “We’re going to build on the governor’s commitment to being more transparent and more open and listen to what the community has to say about PFAS in their neighborhoods.”

According to the charter, the workgroup will take up to two citizens from each PFAS-impacted community.

A PFAS-impacted community is defined as a city, township, or village with at least one PFAS site. Those interested in registering to join the workgroup can do so here.

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