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LWV Lake Michigan Region Annual Meeting 2019

LWVLMR 2019 Annual Meeting and Conference was held at Lakeside Inn in Lakeside, MI on the shores of Lake Michigan On October 25 & 26.

Louise Petering, LWVWI Vice President and member of the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County received the LWVLMR 2019 Palleon Advocacy Award. This award recognizes Louise's decades of work on behalf of clean and healthy waters. Louise is pictured below (center) with LWVLMR President Krista Grimm (left) and Marge Palleon, Board Member (right).

Keynote speaker Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of For Love of Water (FLOW) spoke on Groundwater- the Sixth Great Lake.

The volume of our groundwater in the Great Lakes watershed is roughly equal to the volume of Lake Huron and 42% of the Great Lakes water originates from groundwater. Our ground water is equally as important as our visible water since we rely on it more than our visible lakes. Its invisibility makes ground water vulnerable since we can’t see it; can’t see what we do to it and ignore the dangers to it.

Public awareness, supporting like-organizations, and government regulations are so important as are the testing of wells, of septic systems, of drinking water, and regulating chemicals disposals-PFAS. Regulations should change for companies to proof they are safe and can dispose chemicals safely.

PFAS and the Michigan Response presented by Suzanne Dixon and David Mueller.

There are over 4700 types of PFAS chemicals with long chains, non-reactive, and water-soluble. PFAS products can be found in sticky notes, clothes, detergents, metals, plastics and in landfill, wastewater treatment plants, manufacturing plants, firefighting materials, surface water, and ground water. They are difficult to treat, and are toxic at low levels. PFAS -6 parts per million or “like a grain of sand in Olympic swimming pool.”

MI has a PFAS Action Response Agency with time line 2019 action plan with set rules make with scientists and open for public opinion. The 2016 EPA FACT SHEET PFOA & PFOS Drinking Water Health Advisories, states:

“EPA’s health advisories are ... informed by epidemiological studies of human populations ... exposed to PFASs. These studies indicate that exposure to PFOA and PFOS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants (e.g., low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations), cancer (e.g., testicular, kidney), liver effects (e.g., tissue damage), immune effects (e.g., antibody production and immunity), thyroid effects and other effects (e.g., cholesterol changes).”

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