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Michigan panel to consider limits on 'forever chemicals' in drinking water

Posted at 10:00 AM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 10:01:33-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan panel is preparing to consider proposed limits on some nonstick, water-resistant chemicals in drinking water.

An oversight committee is expected to vote Thursday on regulations developed by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy that would set maximum levels of seven types of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

The chemicals are used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products and have been linked to numerous health problems, including liver damage, low birth weights and some types of cancer.

They are widely described as “forever chemicals” because they persist in the environment.

Among the compounds that would be regulated are PFOA and PFOS, which are among the oldest chemicals in the class and have been phased out in the United States.

The Environmental Rules Review Committee could approve or reject the proposed regulations or make changes. The rules would apply to about 2,700 water suppliers across the state.

They would have to sample their water periodically for the seven chemicals, notify the public if the maximum levels are exceeded, and use cleanup technology as needed.

Officials with the Michigan environment department said they had received more than 3,400 public comments on the proposals.