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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018

Contact: Katie Parrish, Communications Director, (239) 537-9507

Illegal discharge of PFAS into waterways highlights need for legislative action

LANSING – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters today issued the following statement after an MLive investigation found Michigan businesses are sending high levels of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to wastewater systems that discharge the chemicals into lakes, rivers and streams on a daily basis.

According to the MLive report, manufacturers are sending up to 20,000 times the allowed amount of PFOS, a toxic substance in the PFAS family of chemicals, into wastewater systems. According to state records, 18 wastewater treatment plants across the state are taking in these toxic chemicals.

“Today’s report proves that our rivers and lakes are being illegally polluted with PFOS and yet there seems to be very little urgency from our current governor to protect public health and taking immediate action,” said Bob Allison, deputy director at Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  “Our state government has repeatedly downplayed the scope and scale of this PFAS contamination crisis in order to mitigate political exposure – and  we see it again today with the fact that we’re only learning about the role wastewater treatment plants are playing because of an investigative news article. It’s time for a full airing of this administration’s poor handling of this public health crisis, starting with why a 2012 DEQ report that raised alarm bells of this crisis was ignored by state officials for five years.”

“The House Natural Resources Committee meets next week, and we urge lawmakers to take action on legislation that has sat for months without a hearing and begin tackling this widespread PFAS drinking water crisis. It’s time for state lawmakers to step up and enact protections that will keep Michigan families safe,” Allison added.