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Michigan Ag News Headlines
New Water Standards Pave Way for Expanded PFAS Clean-Up
Michigan Ag Connection - 08/04/2020

The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) Monday announced an expansion of PFAS investigations and clean-up efforts across the state in response to the state's adoption of new standards aimed at protecting Michiganders from PFAS contamination in municipal drinking water.

Administered by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the new regulations limit seven PFAS chemicals in municipal drinking water. The following Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) were adopted:

The new drinking water standards also update Michigan's existing groundwater clean-up criteria of 70 ppt for PFOS and PFOA. The new groundwater standard is 8 ppt for PFOA and 16 ppt for PFOS.

"MPART has established itself as a national leader in responding to PFAS contamination," said MPART executive director Steve Sliver. "These new PFAS limits are an important regulatory tool that will allow us to expand our mission and protect more Michiganders from these contaminants."

The new groundwater standards for PFAS result in 38 new sites being added into MPART's portfolio of ongoing PFAS investigations. Most of these sites are landfills or former manufacturing facilities already the subject of ongoing state investigations into other forms of contamination.

Summaries of the new sites have been posted on the MPART web site and MPART members have begun the process of contacting local officials and stakeholders about the new PFAS investigations. MPART is also planning to host a series of regional webinars in September to provide the public more information regarding next steps in these investigations.

"EGLE and the MPART taskforce have been aggressively investigating PFAS contamination and protecting Michiganders' drinking water for several years now, so we already have some analytical data and a proven process for addressing these new sites," Sliver said. "What the new rules provide is a roadmap for further investigation, clean-up and compliance discussions with the parties responsible for PFAS contamination."

Known to scientists as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS are a group of potentially harmful contaminants used in thousands of applications globally including firefighting foam, food packaging and many other consumer products. These compounds also are used by industries such as tanneries, metal platers and clothing manufacturers.

To learn more about PFAS, visit the MPART website: Michigan.gov/PFASResponse.


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