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Dozens express thoughts, concerns on newly proposed PFAS guidelines

Posted at 9:43 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 05:36:32-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dozens expressed their concerns and thoughts about newly proposed guidelines related to newly proposed PFAS standards by the state.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy hosted a public meeting at Grand Valley State University's downtown campus. It was the first of three held across the state.

The newly proposed standards would require sampling to be done for community and non-transient non-community water supplies and systems, many of which are municipal water systems.

EGLE has identified seven harmful chemicals for the following PFAS. The proposed guidelines would set the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL's) at the following standard, measured in nanograms per liter:

The proposed changes, if they go into effect, will make the standards across the majority of public water supplies enforceable. If a water system is found to be non-compliant, the state must work to reduce the contamination levels. Private water systems, such as private wells, will not come under the changes.

Many who attended Wednesday's meeting shared their own stories of PFAS contamination.

"Everyone of those health concerns were present in my family," said Scott Harvey, former clerk of Plainfield Township. "I was shocked to my core."

While many applauded the state's efforts, many felt EGLE did not go far enough in reducing contamination.

"Those here such as myself have been in the trenches with many having been personally and deeply affected by this horrible and depilating toxin. I currently feel MCL's set at 70 parts per trillion threshold is horrifically high. There should be no tolerance for this chemical whatsoever," said resident Larry Campbell.

If the proposed changes move forward, EGLE representatives say more than 20 water systems would be out of compliance and the state will work with them to control the contamination.