Finding the next PFAS before it’s too late

Editor,

In January, Rep. Fred Upton became a founding member of the bipartisan PFAS task force to address the groundwater contamination crisis affecting Michigan and several other states. This is an excellent step toward protecting our communities from toxic chemicals and I applaud his effort to combat this public health crisis.

However, it is one thing to address a current drinking water crisis, but what about the next threat? Just a few years ago, hardly any of us had heard of the carcinogenic PFAS chemicals that we now know are a danger to thousands of Michiganders. It took informed science and monitoring to detect this problem and it will take strong, independent science to find the next threats to our health.

Fortunately, there is proposed legislation that helps to do just that. The Scientific Integrity Act ensures the independence of federally funded science agencies so that the scientists we pay with our tax dollars can share their findings without political interference. The bill requires government agencies that fund research to establish science integrity policies and prevents partisan appointees from censuring findings that are in the public’s best interest. These are basic safeguards that help prevent wasting our tax dollars and ensure that important research that warns us of public health threats isn’t distorted by partisan lobbyists and special interest groups who care more about their bottom line than our well-being.

Federal science agencies should and do work in the service of the public good and we deserve to know about their work.

As a Michigander who is also a state and federally funded scientist, it is my job to understand our world so that we can make better decisions as a society. We don’t know where the next threats to our health will come from, but it is in our best interest to enable those whose job it is to find and address these problems to do their work and to inform the public about it. A strong and independent federal science program is one of the best ways we can detect future risks in Michigan and nationwide before they turn into the next Flint or Parchment. I urge Rep. Upton to join as a co-sponsor of the Scientific Integrity Act.

Robert Logan

Hickory Corners

Tax cut made filing more enjoyable

Editor,

Thank you, President Trump and the GOP Congress. I finished filing my 2018 taxes and am seeing lower overall taxes for myself and for my step-kids.

The total amounts that each person was able to keep varied for each person, but the net total taxes were down for everyone in my family, from a low of $500 less to $2,000 less.

Thank you again for letting me keep more of the money that I earned instead of sending it away to the federal government. This tax cut has helped the small business that was started with my partner last year, too.

Peter Plikaitis

St. Joseph