Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of widely-used industrial chemicals that have contaminated the drinking water of 30 communities and growing across Michigan.  Exposure to PFAS has been linked to cancers, autoimmune diseases like diabetes, thyroid disorders and a host of other severe health problems. State officials estimate that as many as 1.9 million Michiganders may be exposed, but to date, no regulations have been passed to protect public health and comprehensively clean up drinking water.

During the lame duck session, the 99th Legislature could take action on a series of bills to begin to address the PFAS drinking water crisis and protect public health, they include:

  HB 5375 (Toughest PFAS Standard In The Country): Sponsored by Rep. Brinks. If passed, this bill would set a drinking water standard for PFAS of 5 parts per trillion (ppt). It was introduced in December 2017 and has yet to receive a hearing.

√   Renew Michigan (Money to Clean Up Contamination): In January 2018, Gov. Snyder proposed the “Renew Michigan” package which would replace the now-depleted Clean Michigan Initiative by raising our state’s current landfill dumping fee from $0.36 per ton to $4.75 per ton.  In late August, groups like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Farm Bureau endorsed Renew Michigan. The Legislature has taken no action on it. The tipping fee would generate some $79 million annually (SB 943) and PFAS funding ($15) for the first half year of activity has been included in the Governor’s lameduck supplemental appropriation request.

√   HB 6185 & 6186 (Tighter Regulations On Firefighting Foam Use): Sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, these bills would require fire departments using foam with PFAS to report details of each use to the state within 48 hours, and prohibit the use of PFAS foam during training exercises.  This bill package is being sponsored, in part, by former firefighters on both sides of the aisle, including Rep. Sabo, Rep. Yanez, Rep. Cochran and Rep. Yaroch. The bills were introduced in June and have not seen any action. 

√   HB 6373 (Comprehensive Plan For PFAS Clean Up): Sponsored by Rep. Lucido, this bill would require the Department of Environmental Quality to establish a comprehensive PFAS regulatory structure for the handling, storage, disposal and clean-up of substances containing PFAS chemicals by the end of 2019.  The bill was introduced in September and has not received a hearing.

HB 6099  (Polluters Pay for Alternative Water Supply):

Requires those responsible for polluting the drinking water supply of property owners to pay for the ongoing monitoring of that supply and the provision an alternative water source to its users in the vicinity of the contamination.  Brinks, Cambensy, Faris, Geiss, Gay-Dagnogo, Moss, Zemke, Pagan, Lasinski and LaGrand.


PFAS 101: This everything you need to know

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