Statement from state Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) on federal interference in the release of a Centers for Disease Control report concerning PFAS levels:
LANSING — Yesterday, it was revealed that the Trump Administration and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have blocked the release of a report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a division of the Centers for Disease Control, calling the 70 parts per trillion advisory level for PFAS too high. State Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) is the sponsor of House Bill 5375, which would strengthen Michigan drinking water regulations for PFAS chemicals, which are posing a hazard to families in northern Kent County and across the state. Her legislation would restrict levels to no more than 5 parts per trillion for PFOS and PFOA, respectively. In response, Rep. Brinks issued the following statement:
“It does not surprise me that the Trump Administration and the EPA are more worried about a public relations nightmare than public health and are blocking this report. We are suffering from a serious water contaminant problem that isn’t just happening on the west side of the state, but in communities across Michigan and the United States. These chemicals are dangerous to human health, and can cause cancers, birth defects, thyroid and liver disease, and other serious conditions. We have an obligation to protect public health, and that includes making sure that our drinking water is clean. Now more than ever it is clear how critical my legislation is to fulfilling that obligation.
“We saw in Flint what happens when government officials try to hide the facts: they ended up poisoning an entire city. We absolutely can’t let that happen again. I call on the Trump Administration and the EPA to allow the release of this report so that we can have a real conversation about the actual health impacts that these chemicals have. Michiganders, and any United States resident, deserves clean, safe water to drink.”