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Lawmakers approve bill critics say will weaken state response to PFAS & toxic chemicals

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A controversial bill setting new standards for cleaning up contamination is on its way to the governor.

The state House approved the legislation Tuesday by a narrow 56 to 53 vote margin. The bill has already passed the state Senate.

“The legislation will help protect Michigan families and our kids moving forward and actually cleanup some of the sites that have long needed to be cleaned up,” says State Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), the bill’s senator sponsor.

But critics say the bill would require the state to use outdated toxicity criteria when assessing brownfields.  

“A strengthened system is a good thing,” says Sean McBrearty, with Clean Water Action. “But what this provides is a weakened system.”

McBrearty and others point specifically to language involving PFAS, a group of chemicals that are emerging as a growing contamination problem in Michigan.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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