ANN ARBOR — State Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Ann Arbor) hosted a town hall this past Thursday about current water issues facing residents of Michigan. The event included a panel discussion with industry experts and an open question and answer period that was moderated by Rep. Lasinski. More than 120 people attended the event, including community members from across the district, local and county elected officials and a representative from Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s office.
“It was encouraging to see so many community members come out and take part in this important discussion,” Lasinski said. “I am grateful to our panelists and audience members for making the night such a success. Every day that legislative leadership fails to take action to address water issues in our communities, we put more and more families at risk. It is important for us all to stay informed, engaged, and continue our fight for clean water in our homes.”
Lasinski was joined by a panel of experts including Daniel Brown, Huron River Watershed Council Watershed Planner; Lisa Fischer, MDHHS toxicologist; Kristen Schewighoefer, Environmental Health Director for the Washtenaw County Health Dept.; and Gerald Tiernan, District Supervisor with the MDEQ Remediation & Redevelopment Division. The discussion began with the panel providing clarity to residents on some long-standing water issues in the area, including general information about PFAS, dioxane, and residential well testing. Information regarding newly revealed issues in the area, was also discussed, such as the recently discovered Saline PFAS site, dioxane detected in Barton Pond, and issues with Ann Arbor’s new drinking water carbon filters. Lasinski and the panelists also talked about opportunities within the current political landscape for clean water legislation. This included how the new administration and restructured DEQ are expected to tackle clean water moving forward.