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EGLE Raises Concerns Over PFAS at Camp Grayling, Opposes Proposed Expansion

As we wait for a decision on the proposed Camp Grayling land expansion, opposition continues to grow. And now, you can add the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to the list.

In a letter EGLE sent to the Michigan Army National Guard, they raised concerns about current PFAS clean-up efforts at Camp Grayling. They say Camp Grayling’s investigations into PFAS needs to be assessed before any proposal goes through.

The Environmental Manager for the Michigan Army National Guard, Jonathan Edgerly, says some of EGLE’s concerns made sense while others took them by surprise.

The long letter, sent from EGLE’s Gaylord Post, raised a number of concerns including the National Guard’s decision not to expand Beaver Creek Township’s drinking water to Grayling Township. They say this is an issue due to the concern of PFAS in well water around Lake Margrethe. Edgerly says that’s news to him.

“That is not a decision that I’ve heard the National Guard Bureau has made. In fact, it was my understanding it was just the opposite,” Edgerly disagrees. 

He says the solution is continuing to be vetted through the system.

Edgerly admits they have been lagging due to a lack of funding. However, they say they’re doing their best to keep up with the clean-up efforts.

“I completely understand that the community is frustrated with the amount of time it’s taken to find those answers. It’s very complex when you’re dealing with 150,000 acres and trying to get all the facts,” Edgerly admits.

The President of a local conservation group called the Anglers of the Au Sable, Joe Hemming, calls the letter ‘damning.’ He says the Guard’s inability to keep their current land clean is why they’re so nervous about the expansion.

“Take care of what you already have, and this letter is saying you’re not doing that. And now [the guard] want to more than double it. I mean, if there’s a sense of distrust there, you can certainly understand why in light of this letter,” Hemming explains

The Michigan National Guard reassures the public that if the land expansion is approved, it won’t affect their ability to keep the area clean.

“This is our backyard; Camp Grayling is our backyard. So, we will do everything within our power that any training that is proposed in these new areas would have the lightest footprint possible to the environment,” Edgerly says.

Click the link to see EGLE’s full letter to the National Guard.

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