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Much still unknown about air base PFC contamination

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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 5:00 am

OSCODA – Thursday’s meeting about the “do not eat” fish advisory and the contamination emitting from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda Township answered many questions, but there were many more for which there were none to give.

According to the representatives of state and federal agencies, little is known about the type of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) found in high levels in fish tested from the ponds of Clark’s Marsh and, in lesser levels, in resident fish species taken from the lower AuSable River.

It is considered an emerging contaminant and an Air Force spokesman said the agency is learning as it goes.

PFC contamination was initially determined to be flowing from Wurtsmith as the result of a 2010 water sample tested by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). More samples were collected in 2011, then the fish at Clark’s Marsh were tested in 2012, along with additional testing of surface water, groundwater, soil and seep (where base groundwater enters Clark’s Marsh).


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