UPDATE: State Sen. Winnie Brinks of Grand Rapids issued the following statement on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s call for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to file a request for rulemaking and establish PFAS drinking water standards.
“Gov. Whitmer’s decision to begin developing PFAS drinking water standards is good news for every family and community in our state. Enforceable standards based on the best science available put us on the right path — one that holds polluters accountable, deters further contamination and keeps the hardworking people of Michigan safe.”
The statement went on to say “I look forward to helping her administration in any way I can as we take this important next step.”
ORIGINAL STORY (AP): 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.
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.