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Statewide results for Michigan Pfas Action Response Team are in

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A statewide test for PFAS in Michigan drinking water supplies has concluded, and researchers say, the results are encouraging.

For the past year, the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team conducted a statewide sampling of community, school, child care provider and tribal water supplies for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS. The $1.7 million study was the first of its kind in the nation, and researchers say, they were pleasantly surprised at the results.

“Well our study found some relatively good news,” Smith said. “In about 90 percent of the supplies that we tested were ‘non-detect’ in all of the compounds that were included in that analysis.”

That is Dr. Ian Smith from the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team. (MPART) Smith is the Emerging Contaminants and Issues Coordinator there, and he says, the remaining 10 percent of samples that did detect PFAS, were still relatively low.

“6.5 to 7 percent overall fell at a level of  less than 10 parts per-trillion or less for total tested PFAS, around 3 percent that tested at greater than 10 parts per-trillion for total tested PFAS, so I would consider that good news.”

Good news in the sense that the United States Environmental Protection Agency has set the safety benchmark for PFAS in drinking water at 70 part-per trillion, which the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy currently uses as well.

However, a number of environmental advocacy groups have argued, that 70 parts per trillion is far too high, and a statewide, enforceable standard needs to be adopted. While Michigan Senator Winnie Brinks, (D) has called on Michigan to set the safety threshold at 5 parts per trillion, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has given the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team until October 1st to come up with a recommended number.

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