LANSING — With an ever-growing list of communities affected by PFAS, state Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) introduced a plan to hold the state and water suppliers accountable to immediately alerting residents of PFAS contamination. Today, Rep. Brinks sent a letter to the Republican chair and vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee urging them to give her legislation a hearing.
“Every delay to hold hearings puts another community, another home, another family at risk,” said Rep. Brinks. “Continued inaction is unacceptable. We are surrounded by some of the freshest water in the world — no household should have to wonder if their tap water is safe. Michigan families deserve answers and they deserve to know their water is safe — by holding hearings and passing legislation now, we can give them the answers and security they deserve.”
Last week, Rep. Brinks introduced House Bill 6320, which would require water suppliers, upon notification from the state Department of Environmental Quality, to issue a public advisory within three business days after confirming the presence of PFAS in the public water supply. Within 14 days of issuing the public advisory, the water supplier would be obligated to notify by mail all property owners affected by the PFAS contamination, including information about PFAS chemicals, potential health risks, how to obtain additional testing and other pertinent information. Rep. Brinks’ second bill, HB 6321, would require the Department of Health and Human Services to notify individuals with private drinking wells in the same fashion when the well’s aquifer is contaminated with PFAS.
Since 2017, House Democrats have introduced numerous proposals to address growing PFAS contamination in the state. Those proposals were accompanied by numerous calls for both legislative and oversight hearings, including seven from Rep. Brinks, all of which have been ignored. Last week, congressional PFAS hearings began in Washington, however similar hearings have not yet been scheduled in Michigan. Additional information about PFAS and the House Democrats’ Action Plan can be found here.
A copy of Rep. Brinks’ letter to Chairman Howell and Vice Chair LaFave is attached here.