Local Issues

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PFAS chemicals - contamination in Huron River

PFAS chemicals (Per-Fluoro-Alkyl-Substances) are a class of some 5,000 chemicals that can accumulate and persist in the body for up to 20 years. PFAS are used in fire suppression, stain and grease repellants, and other industrial uses. Exposure has been linked to low infant birth weights, cancer, thyroid disorders, and adverse effects on the immune system. They are odorless and accumulate over time in the body.

PFAS chemicals have contaminated the Huron River, affecting Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw counties. They have accumulated in fish resulting in a DO NOT EAT advisory that may last decades. MDEQ is testing Michigan waters, and more information on Health, Testing and Treatment, Michigan Sites, Fish and Wildlife, and Firefighting Foam can be found here: www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse.

The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter is tracking this issue nationally, and has more information on their website www.sierraclub.org/michigan/toxics .

Handy Township: status of 750-1200 MW natural gas fired power plant

In just four short months, Handy Township officials made the decision to amend their year-old Master Plan and zoning ordinance to make way for heavy industry by special use provision. The Master Plan as adopted on March 31, 2017, emphasized the rural nature and values in the township. The final decision over objections rezoned 125 acres within Section 36 of Handy Township from Agricultural/Residential to R&D to allow a power plant by Special Use through new language in the Master Plan.

At this date, Nov. 2021, nothing has happened at the site.

Want some further reading on merchant power plants and other communities living with one? Here are the articles we recommend:

Drinking water testing before oil and gas development: What should a landowner do?

Baseline drinking water testing information

Hartland Township Merit Energy contamination

Sulfolane Release Questions and Answers
Livingston Daily Press & Argus: Neighbors say former plant was source of foul odor

Is there an issue that you know about and think we should be made aware? Email cg.conservation@michigan.sierraclub.org .