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Environment & Climate Change

New evidence vets drank contaminated water at decommisionned Air Force base in Oscoda

The former Wurtsmith Air Force base
Mike Fritcher
/
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
The former Wurtsmith Air Force base.

There could be new proof that veterans and their families were exposed to perflourinated chemicals (PFCs) in their drinking water at the former Wurtsmith Air Force base in Oscoda. 

The base closed in 1993.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is wrapping up its analysis of water found trapped in long-forgotten fire hydrants on the base. The results are part of a not-yet-released draft report by the MDEQ.

"The contamination that we're seeing in the hydrants indicates to us that the people on the base were at times drinking levels of PFC contamination that were above the health advisory that EPA has put out for these chemicals," said Bob Delaney, MDEQ's project manager for the former air force base site.

The EPA says the chemicals are toxic to wildlife and laboratory animals.

Plumes of PFCs have been migrating from the former Air Force base to surrounding neighborhoods and the Au Sable river.  The chemical is used to extinguish flames, and fire fighting crews trained with it at the base.