Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has directed the state’s Department for Environmental Quality to develop drinking water standards for certain toxic industrial chemicals rather than waiting for updated federal guidelines .
Whitmer announced Tuesday that the rules will cover chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS .
The Democrat says in a statement that Michigan has “long advocated that the federal government establish national standards“ and can’t wait any longer.
Sean McBrearty with Clean Water Action says Governor Whitmer needed to step in.
“Governor Whitmer is ready to put Michigan families and our drinking water first,“ he said. “I fully trust the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is gonna use the most up-to-date science and set a standard that’s actually protective of human health and our environment.“
Whitmer says she’s directing the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team to form a science advisory workgroup to review existing and proposed health-based drinking water standards from around the nation. She wants proposed regulations to be completed no later than Oct. 1.
The chemicals were long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products. They’ve been identified at sites around the state.