Dingell Seeks Answers on Downriver Water Quality Concerns
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Dingell Seeks Answers on Downriver Water Quality Concerns

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WASHINGTON, DC (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today sent a letter to Governor Rick Snyder and Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) CEO Sue F. McCormick regarding recent reports of odor, taste and discoloration issues in the tap water in many Downriver communities. Over the weekend, Dingell’s office received reports of both people and their pets becoming ill after drinking the discolored water. Dingell is seeking information about the source of the discoloration and steps that are being taken to ensure the water is safe.

“People are rightfully questioning whether the water is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in,” wrote Dingell. “All Americans deserve peace of mind in knowing their water is safe for consumption. The current situation has given pause to many Downriver families who are worried for their well-being. Answers to the following questions will help address concerns on the mind of many in the community and will help ensure we are all working together to fix this problem.”

The letter can be read here and below.

January 17, 2017

The Honorable Rick Snyder
Governor
State of Michigan
P.O Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909

Ms. Sue F. McCormick
CEO
Great Lakes Water Authority
735 Randolph, Suite 1900
Detroit, MI 48226
Dear Governor Snyder and Ms. McCormick:

This letter is in regards to numerous reports of odor, taste and discoloration issues in the tap water in many Downriver communities.  We have received reports of a sulfur-like odor coming from the water and confirmed these reports when I visited impacted communities and could smell the reported odor.  People are rightfully questioning whether the water is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in.  We have also heard reports from constituents and their pets that have become severely ill after drinking tap water from the faucet.

All Americans deserve peace of mind in knowing their water is safe for consumption.  The current situation has given pause to many Downriver families who are worried for their well-being.  Answers to the following questions will help address concerns on the mind of many in the community and will help ensure we are all working together to fix this problem.

1.         Is the tap water in Downriver communities currently safe?

2.         To the best of your knowledge, what is the source of the discoloration and odor issues that are currently present in the water?

3.         What strategy is the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) pursuing to address the discoloration and odor issues?  How long are these conditions expected to persist?

4.         It is my understanding the Great Lakes Water Authority has increased sampling and testing of the water in Downriver communities following these reports.  How long will this increased testing occur?  Have there been any positive tests for bacteria or volatile organic chemicals?  How often is water normally tested in the absence of an emergency or adverse reports from the community?

5.         Increased transparency will help promote public confidence that everything possible is being done to address the situation.  Publicly releasing test results as they come in, regardless of whether they contain evidence of contamination or not, would bring peace of mind to many residents.  Will results from testing the water be released to the public?

6.         Our office has received many reports of both people and their pets becoming ill after drinking the discolored water.  What should residents who have become sick from ingesting the water be doing to ensure their health is provided for?  Where should they go to report these cases?  How can we all work together with the appropriate public health authorities to ensure these cases are being properly tracked?

7.         Many residents are wondering if they need to be drinking bottled water because of the current situation.  GLWA has indicated that this is not necessary at the moment, but many of my constituents are receiving mixed messages on this issue.  Please provide specific information as to why bottled water is or is not needed at this time to help clarify the situation.

8.         Whose responsibility is it to notify the public in the instance that the water in a local community is found to be unsafe to drink?  Is there a formal plan in place to work with impacted communities and their elected officials if there is a contamination of the water that could cause health issues?

Thank you for your prompt attention to these questions which are on the mind of many Downriver residents.  We stand ready to work with you and please advise if you need any assistance or resources from the federal government.  We are copying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on this email to ensure that government at all levels is partnering to ensure the safety and health of Downriver residents is provided for.  We look forward to receiving your response on this critical issue.

Sincerely,
Debbie Dingell
Member of Congress

CC: The Honorable Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Jonathan Dropiewski, Mayor, City of Flat Rock
The Honorable James Gorris, Mayor, City of Gibraltar
The Honorable Thomas Karnes, Mayor, City of Lincoln Park
The Honorable Joseph Kuspa, Mayor, City of Southgate
The Honorable Andy Linko, Supervisor, Brownstown Township
The Honorable Brian Loftus, Supervisor, Grosse Ile Township
The Honorable William Matakas, Mayor, City of Allen Park
The Honorable Pat Odette, Mayor, City of Woodhaven
The Honorable Joseph Pederson, Mayor, City of Wyandotte
The Honorable Rick Sollars, Mayor, City of Taylor
The Honorable Kyle Stack, Mayor, City of Trenton
The Honorable Andrew Swift, Mayor, City of Riverview
The Honorable Coleman Young III, State Senator, District 1
The Honorable Ian Conyers, State Senator, District 4
The Honorable Hoon-Young Hopgood, State Senator, District 6
The Honorable Erika Geiss, State Representative, District 12
The Honorable Frank Liberati, State Representative, District 13
The Honorable Cara Clemente, State Representative, District 14
The Honorable Darrin Camilleri, State Representative, District 23
The Honorable C. Heidi Grether, Director, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, Director, Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and
Community Wellness
Mr. Jim Perry, Executive Director, Downriver Community Conference
Mr. Bill McBride, Director, State of Michigan Washington, DC Office

Source: U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

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