New Michigan drinking water standards for seven (7) per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) took effect on August 3, 2020. The acronym “PFAS” is generally used to refer to a large group of chemicals that have been used in the United States and throughout the world in a variety of applications – firefighting foams, waterproofing of clothing, carpeting, food wrappings, and more. There are thousands of types of PFAS, some more widely used than others. Studies of PFAS chemicals indicate that they are persistent in the environment (i.e., they do not readily break down) and they bioaccumulate (based upon blood tests performed on animals and humans).
These new Michigan PFAS drinking water standards, known as Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), are more stringent than current federal US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health advisory level and apply to approximately 2,700 public water supplies in Michigan. The PFAS MCLs were proposed by the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), an interagency team comprised of ten state departments, including the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and others, for the purpose of protecting public health. EGLE has primary enforcement authority in Michigan.
The 7 PFAS MCLs that were recently adopted are as follows:
|Specific PFAS||Drinking Water MCL
Parts per Trillion (ppt)
The newly adopted MCLs resulted in the addition of 38 new sites to the list of sites currently undergoing PFAS investigations, bringing the current total number of sites to 138.
For more information on MPART and PFAS, visit EGLE’s MPART website at https://www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/.
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