Senators Stabenow, Peters Announce $1 Million in Funding to Address Oscoda PFAS Contamination

New federal grants will help Oscoda Township provide residents with safe drinking water

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today announced $1 million in new federal funding to help Oscoda Township provide safe drinking water and address contamination from chemicals containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Oscoda Township utilized changes made by Senators Stabenow and Peters in the 2018 bipartisan budget bill to raise the maximum amount of USDA emergency water grants from $500,000 to $1 million.  This increase allowed the township to be awarded $1 million instead of the previous limit of $500,000.


“Michigan families exposed to PFAS contamination are living with incredible uncertainty about the impact of these chemicals on their health and wellbeing,” said Senator Stabenow. “As the threats from PFAS contaminants become more known, I am working hard to make more federal resources available to address this serious and emerging threat.”


“Oscoda residents are suffering serious health consequences from exposure to PFAS, and we must take every step to ensure Michiganders have access to safe and reliable drinking water,” said Senator Peters. “While this funding is an important step to help provide area residents with clean drinking water, I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure the federal government devotes much-needed resources to help clean up contaminated sites and mitigate the harmful effects of PFAS exposure.”


The Oscoda Charter Township will receive a $750,000 Water and Environmental Programs Grant and a $250,000 Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency. The combined $1 million in funds will be used to expand their municipal water system to approximately 140 residential users in an area of Oscoda Township due to PFAS contamination at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.


In addition to raising the maximum grant for emergency water grants, Stabenow and Peters recently worked across the aisle to introduce the PFAS Accountability Act and the PFAS Detection Act to improve the federal response to contamination and enhance detection. Rural development water infrastructure grants are part of the current Farm Bill, which Senator Stabenow authored as Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. This year, as the Ranking Member of the Committee, Senator Stabenow introduced a new bipartisan Farm Bill, which strengthens support for rural water infrastructure and targets investments to help even more communities affected by harmful contaminants like PFAS.