LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday approved a measure aimed at addressing the recent growth of groundwater issues caused by perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) throughout the state.
“Unfortunately, many parts of the state, including parts of my district, were included in these recent findings,” said state Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford. “I am happy to see this issue being addressed and to see a bipartisan effort to find a solution.”
This funding will enable the state to assess the size and scope of the water quality issues regarding these compounds. This will ensure that the Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Environmental Quality (DEQ) have the resources to analyze drinking and surface waters for PFAS.
This action comes in the wake of Gov. Rick Snyder announcing the creation of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART). MPART was formally created by Executive Order 2017-4 and its members have been tasked with finding a timely and comprehensive solution to the recent increase of PFAS chemicals in groundwater systems across Michigan.
House Bill 4320, a supplemental to the 2017-2018 budget, includes an additional $23.2 million to address the PFAS problem. This money will go toward response and mitigation efforts, laboratory and testing equipment, water sampling and other measures.
Currently, Michigan does not have the capacity to perform drinking water testing at the levels recommended by the DEQ. A portion of this funding will go to expand state labs to provide comprehensive PFAS testing; allowing agents from DHHS and DEQ to better protect the public and identify potential problems.
“Testing for these compounds is relatively new and only 12 labs across the country are currently certified to perform such tests,” said MacGregor. “This supplemental is just the first step in getting our hands around this issue. When more data is available we can come back and reevaluate whether additional resources are needed.”
Rep. Chris Affendoulis also praised the approval of the funding measure.
“Senator MacGregor and I have worked diligently for several months to secure this funding,” said Affendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township. “I’m thrilled to see both chambers come together to provide the much needed funding to address this issue.”
HB 4320 will now go to Gov. Rick Snyder for approval.