LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Officials announced today that the state has passed a two-year milestone as a national leader in responding to PFAS in drinking water.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced the milestone in pioneering a multi-agency effort to protect Michigan residents from the forever chemical.

Launched in November 2017, the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team was established as a permanent part of EGLE by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer through an Executive Order in February 2019.

In March, Gov. Whitmer directed EGLE to begin drafting rules creating strict limits on certain PFAS in drinking water.

Michigan has drafted some of the nation’s most comprehensive rules for PFAS in drinking water and it marks an important milestone in our response to these contaminants

MPART Executive Director Steve Sliver

A statewide $1.4 million collection and disposal program for PFAS-containing firefighting foam which, when completed in 2020, is expected to remove roughly 34,000 gallons of firefighting foam from the state.

Michigan also continues to seek relief for communities impacted by the costs of PFAS contamination.

A tentative agreement with Wolverine Worldwide this year includes a payment of $69.5 million to clean municipal water for 1,000 properties in Plainfield and Algoma townships impacted by PFAS from the former Wolverine tannery.

Known to scientists as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS are a group of emerging and 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.