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A lawsuit filed on behalf of several Potterville residents earlier this month claims that contaminated water and air has led to significant injuries and illnesses.  The plaintiffs in the lawsuit resided in the Independence Commons community, not far from Potterville’s water treatment facilities.  Residents allegedly experienced seizures, loss of consciousness, rashes, fatigue, and respiratory difficulty.  According to the suit, the residents complained about the water supply but no action was taken.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) water quality maps reflect positive tests for volatile organic compounds (VOC) in Potterville.  Volatile organic compounds can include industrial chemicals, fuel leaks, and illegal waste disposal, among other things.  In spite of the VOC findings, Potterville is not listed as a Site of Current Interest on the DEQ website.

Water safety continues to be an important issue here in the Great Lakes State.  For a state with such beautiful and abundant freshwater resources, contamination problems arise with alarming regularity.  Although the Flint water crisis has grabbed the most headlines, no part of the state has been spared.  From mining sites and old Air Force bases in the Upper Peninsula to fluorocarbons from Grayling Airfield, from the Wolverine tannery in Rockford to the dioxane plume in Ann Arbor, and almost everywhere in between, food and groundwater contamination in Michigan poses a major public health threat.

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