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State of Michigan wants enforceable PFAS standard, public gets chance to weigh in first

Chemical barrels containing PFAS
GVSU
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As environmental officials hope to soon set an enforceable limit on the level of PFAS allowed in drinking water, the state of Michigan is seeking the public’s input on the matter. According to a release, “The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division will hold this week the first of three hearings to receive public comments on proposed rules to establish maximum contaminant levels for seven per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS in drinking water.”

Health officials are hoping to establish drinking water standards, as well as public notification standards when drinking water has been contaminated with PFAS. Other new laws would be sampling requirements, and lab testing certification criteria.

Scott Dean is the Strategic Communications Advisor for the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy. He says, the public hearings, a more than just a formality.

“These public hearings are designed to get important information from the community on these proposed standards for PFAS in drinking water. And if these rules are enacted, Michigan will have some of the most stringent standards on PFAS in drinking water in the nation.”

According to the MDHHS, if enough PFAS is consumed, it can lead to a laundry list of health concerns including liver and kidney cancer…Dean however, says, Michigan residents should feel confident in their drinking water supply after a 2018 statewide test found the majority of the drinking water in Michigan to be safe.

“90 percent of water tested had zero percent PFAS, another7 percent had very small levels,” he said.

In October, on the recommendation of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team EGLE provided draft rules to Governor Whitmer to establish an enforceable statewide standard. Approximately 2,700 water supplies in Michigan will be covered under the new rule.

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