Thursday, January 21, 2016

Carcinogenic Chemical Spreads Beneath American Town Mancelona, Mich., suffers from one of the nation's largest plumes of an industrial solvent called trichloroethylene

MANCELONA, Mich.  – When state and federal environmental officials visited this tucked-away town 15 years ago, their presence surprised local residents.“My heart and most of my life has been spent here in Antrim County,” said Gary Knapp, a long-time resident. “And I knew nothing of its environmental problems.”While removing metal contamination from local groundwater, officials had stumbled upon one of the nation’s largest plumes of an industrial solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE. Drinking-water wells tap into this aquifer, so the state asked the town’s help in preventing the chemical from flowing out of people’s taps.“People were helpless, frustrated and angry,” said Knapp, who was recruited by the state to start a regional water authority.

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