Aug 03, 2020

Michigan Passes New Standards for PFAS in Drinking Water

New rules regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in drinking water are now in effect for Michigan.

drinking water

New rules regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in drinking water are now in effect for Michigan, according to WXYZ.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) said the new rules will provide drinking water standards for public water systems to achieve.

“All Michiganders deserve to know that we’re prioritizing their health and are continuing to work every day to protect the water coming out of their taps,” said Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a press release. “Michigan is once again leading the way nationally in fighting PFAS contamination by setting our own science-based drinking water standard. As a result, we will be better protecting Michiganders across our state.”

According to EGLE Director Liesl Clark in a recent press release, the department will remain committed to rooting out PFAS contamination, protecting at-risk populations and driving down exposure levels.

Michigan’s regulations limit seven PFAS chemicals in drinking water, which will cover roughly 2,700 public water supplies around the state and exceed the current U.S. EPA guidance. The new drinking water standards also have an immediate effect on Michigan’s existing groundwater clean-up criteria of 70 ppt for PFOS and PFOA, added the EGLE press release. The new groundwater standard will be 8 ppt for PFOA and 16 ppt for PFOS.

The new drinking water and groundwater standards results in 42 new sites being added into Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) portfolio of ongoing PFAS investigations, reported WXYZ. According to MPART, half of the new sites are landfills and more than a dozen are former plating or manufacturing sites. 

Approximately 30 public water systems were found to have total PFAS results of 10 ppt or higher during MPART’s 2018 statewide sampling program and ongoing surveys.Compliance with the new standards at the systems will be determined by using a running annual average of sample results, according to WXYZ.

“We’ve communicated with many of these public water systems along with other stakeholders during the period we were developing these rules so this change in status will not come as a surprise,” said Steve Sliver, executive director of MPART. “The PFAS levels previously detected at these sites and supplies have not necessarily changed, but the state’s regulations have become much more protective and give us a new tool in our shared mission of protecting people’s drinking water.”

According to Sliver, MPART agencies like EGLE and MDHHS will help public water systems achieve compliance over the next several months.

Read related content about PFAS contamination in Michigan: