Sandy Wynn-Stelt, co-chair of GLPAN, is a psychologist from Belmont. She became an activist on PFAS when her water was discovered to have extremely high levels of PFAS from a shoe tannery operated by Wolverine WorldWide. Sandy has become a leading voice on raising awareness for PFAS contamination and lifting community voices. She serves on the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team’s Citizens Advisory Work Group and was recently appointed to the Environmental Rules Review Committee in EGLE.
Why did you become a Community Leader in the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network?
As I have learned about this issue, I find that communities are often lost in the shuffle. Well meaning groups, decision makers and companies THINK they know what we want, and forget to ask us. Every community has unique needs and perspectives, and I think that we can elevate those when we work together.
How is GLPAN making an impact on PFAS contamination?
We are being heard and listened to. If we approach this with a united front that is respectful and well thought out, we are hard to ignore. We are already seeing policy changes and funding directed to this, and that is in large part to citizens speaking out.
What would you tell someone who recently found out they have PFAS contamination in their community?
Learn as much as you can. Ask questions, and ask many different people. Do your research. Try not to be overwhelmed. And don't drink contaminated water.