Woman with PFAS in blood wants stricter standard

Toxic Tap Water

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Belmont woman with high levels of PFAS in her blood is worried that lame-duck votes in Lansing could undo progress on cleaning up the contaminant.

“There’s a couple of different bills that have me concerned,” Sandy Wynn-Stelt told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday.

She wants state lawmakers to wait until next year before voting on legislation that would affect standards for the amount of PFAS in drinking water, and she wants to talk to them before they do anything.

“What I would like is for them to spend just as much time talking to the citizens that are affected by this as they are talking to the lobbyists that represent the companies that are probably responsible for this,” she said.

Wynn-Stelt lives across from an old landfill on House Street in Plainfield Township where PFAS-laced Wolverine Worldwide waste was dumped decades ago, contaminating groundwater and surrounding residential wells. A blood test previously revealed the PFAS levels in Wynn-Stelt’s blood were hundreds of times higher than the national average. The likely carcinogen has been discovered at more than 30 sites across the state, contaminating the water supplies of more than 1.5 million people, mostly at low levels.

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“It never dawned on me that it was going to become this big of an issue,” Wynn-Stelt said.

Before the end of the year, state lawmakers could vote on Senate Bill 1244, which would mandate that the state environmental standards be the same as federal ones.

Wynn-Stelt said the Great Lakes state should do better than that, especially as PFAS contamination research continues.

“For us to not set a standard that exceeds that, that are better than that EPA standard, would be foolish because we run the risk that we’re going to pollute everything,” Wynn-Stelt said.

She praised the work state officials have done so far to tackle PFAS contamination, but believes that if SB 1244 passes, they’ll be using outdated guidelines.

“I think the federal standards should be the minimum. That should be like the least we should do. We should always try to exceed that and do better than that,” she argued.

Wynn-Stelt told 24 Hour News 8 that she has traveled to Lansing and set up appointments, hoping to speak with senators representing her area. Some of her requests went unanswered.

“I don’t know why taking 60 more days wouldn’t be a smarter move because then we can be methodical about it and make good decisions and not just be pushing things through,” she said.

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