LANSING — State Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) sent Gov. Rick Snyder a letter today urging him to veto legislation that threatens Michigan’s ability to protect its water from toxic contaminants. Both bills have been passed during the jam-packed lame duck end run for Republican leadership, with one bill, Senate Bill 1244 passing just hours after Gov. Snyder’s MPART released a report confirming Michigan’s current advisory level of 70 parts per trillion for PFAS contamination in drinking water may be too high. Brinks introduced legislation to create an enforceable drinking water standard for PFAS more than a year ago, but it has sat untouched in committee.
“Tying the hands of state agencies in the midst of a growing statewide crisis is the last thing we should be doing in the final hours of the year. Michigan communities cannot afford to keep waiting for federal solutions to the toxins in their drinking water,” Brinks said. “We have an incredible responsibility as leaders of the Great Lakes State to protect our communities and ought to embark on a thoughtful, inclusive process to address the challenge of PFAS contamination. I hope Gov. Snyder understands the dangers presented by the bills before him and acts to reject them soon.”
Brinks urged Gov. Snyder to veto House Bill 4205 and SB 1244. HB 4205 would tie Michigan’s hands from setting rules stricter than regulations from the federal government. There is currently no standard from the federal government to address PFAS contamination, and HB 4205 would effectively prevent Michigan from acting to keep its water safe. Senate Bill 1244 would force the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to use outdated toxicity values from the EPA when developing cleanup criteria. This week, Gov. Snyder’s own MPART pointed out that the advisory level used by the EPA may not be strong enough to protect Michigan households from PFAS in their water. More than 80 MDEQ employees are also urging Gov. Snyder to veto SB 1244.
A copy of the letter Brinks sent to Gov. Snyder is attached.