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Drone to survey Michigan lake in search for toxic chemicals

September 18, 2018

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Environmental regulators say they’ll deploy a drone over a northern Michigan lake to search for sources of toxic chemicals that are emerging as a widespread threat to drinking water systems.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will fly the drone over Lake Margrethe in Crawford County to locate springs that could be laced with chemicals from firefighting foam used at the nearby Camp Grayling military base.

The foam contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The industrial compounds are used in many consumer products and processes, from food packaging to clothing production.

The DEQ says the drone will be fitted with an infrared camera that could detect cold springs entering the lake, a step toward determining where to take water samples to test for evidence of the chemicals.

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