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Environment & Climate Change

MLive FOIA reveals air base drainage “pouring” PFAS into Lake St. Clair

Michigan Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and a KC-135 Stratotanker fly over their home station of Selfridge Air National Guard Base along the shore of Lake St. Clair in Macomb County, Mich.
Master Sgt. Elizabeth Hollicker
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U.S. Air National Guard

 

 New reporting from MLive has found that Selfridge Air National Guard Base is a major source of chemical contamination in the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.

MLive reporter Garrett Ellison filed a Freedom of Information Act requst to obtain the results of water testing done by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at the site in February.

This data indicated five stormwater drainage outfalls near the air base had tested positive for per- and polyfluoroalkyl – or PFAS – contamination. 

Ellison joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss these findings. 

In his story, Ellison writes that "contamination has been pouring out of Selfridge,” and he said this is likely still ongoing. 

“The base says that they’re considering putting some sort of filtration system on the stormwater drains, but I don’t believe that that has happened yet,” Ellison explained.

According to Ellison, the state has also found a PFAS “hit” in the Clinton River somewhere upstream of the air base, which indicates Selfridge may not be the only source of contamination. 

Listen above for the full conversation with MLive reporter Garrett Ellison. 

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry.
 
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