OTSEGO, Mich. — The Allegan County Health Department says a community open house in Otsego on Saturday will give residents a chance to get the latest information about local environmental testing. And to ask questions.
It’ll be at Otsego Middle School, 540 Washington Street, in Otsego. The open house will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, with representatives from local, state and federal agencies leading the discussion. The agencies will then make presentations from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session that will run until 1:30 p.m.
On September 1st, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) informed the county that relatively low levels of environmental pollutants called dioxins were detected in 16 private wells in and around the Otsego area. The state report indicated that two dioxins were found in the wells: 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran.
Several residents have battled cancer the past couple of decades, and former resident Mary Zach formed a group called Justice for Otsego in March, as a result. Some have suggested that the health risks remain from chemicals from local paper-mill waste that was used to cover fields and roads.
The Allegan County Health Department Hot Line number is: (269)-686-4546, or you can email AlleganEH@allegancounty.org . Or, contact the MDHHS Toxicologist at 1-800-648-6942 8 a.m. – 5p.m Monday through Friday for further information about dioxins.