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Lawmakers say they'll consider regulating PFAS chemicals

PFAS sites in Michigan
Kaye LaFond
Michigan Radio

Lawmakers at the state capitol are expected to take a deeper look at regulating a class of chemicals known as PFAS.

The chemicals have been found in drinking water, surface water, and groundwater throughout the state. Republican leaders in Lansing say they plan to hear testimony this fall on the effects of PFAS chemicals, and they’ll decide whether to set rigorous standards for cleanup of the chemicals.

Republican Gary Howell is from Lapeer County. He chairs the state House Natural Resources Committee.

“What the scientific testimony is going to be, as to what the appropriate level should be and probably most importantly what should we be doing or what could we be doing legislatively for remediation to solve this problem?" he says.

Representative Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) has been pushing for regulation around PFAS for nearly a year. She says it’s time for the Legislature to act.

“We constantly are talking about how water defines us as a state. We talk about Pure Michigan, our industries like agriculture and tourism depend on it; so it makes perfect sense that Michigan should be a leader in this," she says.

A proposal from Democrats would limit allowable PFAS contamination in drinking water to five parts per trillion. The EPA recommendation is 70 parts per trillion. Many toxicologists say the EPA advisory level is too high.