Michigan panel to consider limits on ‘forever chemicals’

Toxic Tap Water
algoma township pfas toxic tap water 111417

A well in Algoma Township, where residential wells have been contaminated with PFAS. (File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan panel is preparing to consider proposed limits on some nonstick, water-resistant chemicals in drinking water.

An oversight committee is expected to vote Thursday on regulations developed by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy that would set maximum levels of seven types of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

The chemicals are used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products and have been linked to numerous health problems, including liver damage, low birth weights and some types of cancer.

They are widely described as “forever chemicals” because they persist in the environment.

Among the compounds that would be regulated are PFOA and PFOS, which are among the oldest chemicals in the class and have been phased out in the United States.

The Environmental Rules Review Committee could approve or reject the proposed regulations or make changes. The rules would apply to about 2,700 water suppliers across the state.

They would have to sample their water periodically for the seven chemicals, notify the public if the maximum levels are exceeded, and use cleanup technology as needed.

Officials with the Michigan environment department said they had received more than 3,400 public comments on the proposals.

The Thursday meeting, which will run from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Constitution Hall in Lansing, will stream live online.

Online:

Michigan PFAS Action Response Team

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