LANSING — Today, an MLive report revealed that an employee with 30-plus years of experience at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) delivered a 93-page report to a former DEQ director in 2012, which discussed significant exposure to PFAS in Michigan, and indicated that exposure could be harmful to Michigan residents and its ecosystems. State Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) is the sponsor of several bills and resolutions addressing PFAS contamination, including House Bill 5375, which would strengthen Michigan drinking water regulations for PFAS chemicals. 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:
“Since December of last year, and many times in between, I have asked my Republican colleagues in leadership to be much more proactive on PFAS contamination in Michigan, which we now know impacts at least 15 different communities across the state. To learn that this important report from six years ago was ignored, placing many more people at risk of harm and delaying the state's response, is incredibly troubling.
“In addition, the administration's claim that the real story is how many other states have been contaminated by PFAS but not yet taken action, is offensive. There are people who are suffering with the real health consequences and insecurity of contaminated water. Michiganders deserve answers about what their civil and public servants are doing to ensure the drinking water they pay for is safe, and the fresh waterways they recreate in, are free of contaminants. Rather than attempting to deflect attention away from their responsibilities here at home, I encourage my colleagues to honestly and diligently work to implement solutions for the constituents who elected them to work on their behalf.”