About PFAS

  • PFAS are a family of thousands of toxic, synthetic chemicals associated with many health problems.
  • PFAS pollution is widespread. PFAS have been found in the Huron River and many watersheds across the country.
  • PFAS are commonly used in industrial processes in are many common household products.
  • PFAS pollution in drinking water is not regulated by federal law.
  • The State of Michigan has established drinking water standards for seven PFAS chemicals. State rules are now in place for cleanups regarding the seven chemicals for which there are drinking water standards.

Key Facts for Residents and Visitors of the Huron River

  • All public drinking water in the Huron River watershed is compliant with Michigan drinking water standards.
  • Private wells have not been tested in most cases. The state has no authority over private residential wells. Concerned residents on private wells should contact their county health departments.
  • Do not eat fish from the Huron River. HRWC also recommends not consuming fish from connected lakes or creeks below Proud Lake. The state issued a “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory that applies to most of the Huron River below Milford.
  • Canoeing, kayaking, and swimming are okay. There is no evidence that swimming in water contaminated with PFAS is a health risk, but repeated ingestion of PFAS following skin contact is a concern.
  • Avoid contact with river foam. PFAS concentrates at high levels in foam. If you do make contact with foam, rinse off with non-foamy river water and wash up when you get home.

Do Not Eat the Fish Advisory Information

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued a “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory for most of the Huron River from the crossing at North Wixom Road in Milford all the way to Lake Erie. The advisory did not specifically apply to tributaries along the Huron River, but HRWC is also advising that fish should not be eaten from connected lakes and creeks. Read the August 31 2018 MDHHS advisory here.

PFAS Contamination in Groundwater and Drinking Water in the Huron River Watershed

The map below shows all known (and some suspected) PFAS sites in the Huron River Watershed. The map will be updated periodically as new data is available. Since 2018, the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) has coordinated PFAS sampling in public drinking water and the identification of PFAS contamination at sites across the state.

More than 90% of Michigan drinking water supplies tested in Michigan do not contain detectable levels of PFAS, and in the Huron River watershed, the City of Ann Arbor is the only affected municipal drinking water system. The city has been proactive and aggressive in its treatment for PFAS, and has effectively reduced total PFAS contamination to very low levels. No specific PFAS chemical has exceeded the drinking water standards established in August of 2020.

There are other private drinking water systems that provide public drinking water. This category includes churches, gyms, apartment complexes, and schools. Some of these providers have tested positive for PFAS and the State of Michigan is pursuing solutions with each contaminated provider.

The State has no authority to test or regulate drinking water from private wells. Officials are reaching out to residents they believe may be at risk of contaminated groundwater due to their proximity to contaminated sites, and in some cases, state officials will request to test private wells. That process will be continual. HRWC recommends that any resident approached due to risk of contamination have their drinking water tested for PFAS in cooperation with the state. As of August 2020, we are not aware of any location in the watershed where contaminated surface waters are infiltrating nearby wells. The State of Michigan has also provided guidance on residential well water testing here.

Initial Community Meeting Slides and Recordings

HRWC has facilitated community discussions on the threat of PFAS to the Huron River in Milford and Washtenaw County. State, county, community officials presented information and answered questions from the audience.

Slides Available from Washtenaw County Meeting, 12/18/18

Video Recording  of the Washtenaw County Meeting, 12/18/18

Slides Available from Milford Meeting, 10/4/18

Video Recording of the Milford Meeting, 10/4/18

Stay Tuned for Updates

This is a rapidly developing issue for the Huron River watershed. There is still a lot we don’t know but we are learning more as ongoing research brings in new information. We will provide updates through emails, blogs, social networking posts, and media interviews. Sign up to get our email updates and news here:

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Michigan residents concerned about PFAS in drinking water should contact the Michigan Environmental Assistance Center with questions, 800-662-9278, M-F, 8am-4:30pm.

We Need to Fix the Problem

PFAS contamination of Michigan’s waterways is widespread, and the chemicals have been used for decades in many common household products. We’ll need strong, systemic solutions from the state and federal government.

In August 2020, new drinking water standards (known as Maximum Contaminant Levels or MCLs) went into effect for seven specific PFAS chemicals. It was a significant improvement from teh absence of regulatory protections from PFAS exposure before that. But even before the new MCLs were in place, chemical manufacturers and other industries were developing and using replacement chemicals that appear to be similarly toxic as those now regulated.

We need the state to:

  1. Identify common classes and sub-classes of PFAS chemicals and establish strict drinking water standards for the the entire class. There are more than 4,700 individuals PFAS chemicals in use. Regulating specific chemicals will create an endless “whack-a-mole” problem in which toxic PFAS chemicals are used as replacements for regulated toxic PFAS chemicals.
  2. Make polluters pay to clean up their own mess, not taxpayers or those drinking contaminated water. The polluter pay laws that were in place before the Governor Engler era should be reinstated, and PFAS chemicals should be included in new polluter pay legislation.
  3. Expand Part 201 cleanup criteria to include the all seven PFAS chemicals for which drinking water standards have been established.
  4. Provide more financial and technical support to our communities. The state should increase funding to research the health impacts of PFAS and methods to remove it from drinking water. State agencies need greater capacity for monitoring water resources and communicating their findings.

The federal government should take the following action:

  1. The Department of Defense should phase out PFAS use in fire-fighting foam and other applications.
  2. The EPA should strengthen regulations regarding PFAS, including the use of Toxic Substances Control Act authority and develop PFAS drinking water standards.
  3. Congress should increase research funding to understand how these chemicals affect human health and ecosystem functions.
  4. The FDA needs to take more leadership in identifying and addressing PFAS contamination in consumable products or food containers.

Protect the Huron River from PFAS pollution. You can help HRWC do that with your donation today.

More About PFAS

What are PFAS?

PFAS are toxic, synthetic chemicals. PFAS is an acronym that stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and covers a family of about 3000 similar contaminants. PFAS includes chemicals commonly discussed in the media such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

Why are PFAS cause for concern?

Exposure to PFAS associated with a number of health risks including cancer, increased cholesterol levels, low infant birth weights, liver and kidney dysfunction, and thyroid disorders. PFAS chemicals negatively impact health when they accumulate in the human body over time, or when they are highly concentrated in the food and water we consume.

Where are they and where do they come from?

PFAS are used everywhere and are polluting water throughout Michigan and around the country. They are present in hundreds of everyday consumer products such as food packaging, non-stick cookware, carpets and upholstery, waxes, outdoor apparel, and even dental floss. Common sources in Michigan are believed to be industrial manufacturing sites and places where fire suppression foam has been discharged, like military bases and fire stations.

Are PFAS banned?

Unfortunately PFAS chemicals are not banned. As of September 2018, there is currently no federal regulation limiting PFAS pollution.[2] The EPA has only issued advisory guidelines and has proposed a Significant New Use rule. If accepted, the new use rule would require new or resumed uses of PFAS to be reported, but would not still include any regulation of their pollution.

To date, all drinking water in the watershed falls below the EPA’s guideline for safety (this is a good thing!) Watershed residents get their drinking water from either the river, groundwater, or private wells.

Where does my water come from?

To find out the source of your drinking water, go to our Maps page and select your creekshed. Click on the “Go Deeper” link and scroll down.

Ann Arbor Drinking Water

Ann Arbor is the only community that draws surface water for drinking water from the river and PFAS levels in the water supply have been well below the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt).[3] [4] [5][6] This year’s test results received from EGLE indicate that PFOS/PFOA levels in the city’s drinking water are low and often undetectable. The City of Ann Arbor tests both finished drinking water and its river source water for PFAS on a monthly basis. Regular updates are provided to the public. The City is also experimenting with ways to remove PFAS from drinking water.

Removing PFAS from Drinking Water in Ann Arbor

Currently, granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration is the best available technology for removing PFAS in drinking water. The City has GAC filters, and has been proactive in piloting a new type of carbon in several of its filters since November 2017. This new carbon has demonstrated enhanced removal of PFAS. Due to this success, city staff will present a plan to City Council in September to propose replacing all of the older carbon in the city’s filters with the new type of carbon. The total cost to replace the GAC in the filters and treat for PFAS chemicals was approximately $1 million in fiscal year 2019.

Private Wells

For residents on private wells, contact your county health department (see contacts below). The State of Michigan has also provided guidance on residential well water testing here.

As of September 2018, PFAS have not been detected at significant levels in private or municipal wells within the Huron River Watershed. Numerous other sites in Michigan have detected PFAS-contaminated groundwater.

The EPA Health Advisory Level is not low enough.

While it’s reassuring that PFAS levels throughout most Michigan communities are well below the EPA advisory level, numerous state, federal, and academic institutions have determined that the 70 ppt standard should be lowered significantly. Many states, including Michigan, have done so for specific chemicals.

No. Until further notice, do not eat fish from the Huron River. Fish recently tested in parts of the Huron had high levels of PFAS. On August 4, 2018, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory due to PFAS contamination for parts of the Huron River and on August 31, extended the advisory to include most of the Huron River from the N. Wixom Road crossing in Milford to Lake Erie. While the advisory did not specifically apply to tributaries along the Huron River, HRWC is advising that fish should not be eaten from connecting lakes and creeks. Read the August 31 MDHHS advisory here.

Yes. PFAS are not toxic through contact with the skin at concentrations found in the Huron River. The occasional, accidental gulp of calm lake or river water is okay, though raw river water should never be consumed due to a variety of health risks. PFAS do collect at very high concentrations in foamy water, so avoid river contact with river foam, and be sure to avoid accidentally ingesting foam.

On August 3, 2020, drinking water standards went into effect for seven specific PFAS chemicals. The drinking water standards, known as Maximum Contaminant Levels or MCLs, followed the recommendation of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) provided draft rules to Governor Whitmer. The new rules apply directly to roughly 2,700 water supplies in Michigan.The MCLs were set through a scientific process that evaluated contaminants for their potential to harm human health. When the amount of a contaminant in drinking water is higher than the MCL, the water supply must take action such as treatment or follow-up testing.

Contaminant MCL (parts per trillion or ng/L)
Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA) 6
Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) 8
Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) 16
Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid (PFHxS) 51
Hexafluoropropylene Oxide Dimer Acid (HFPO-DA)
(a GenX compound)
Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS) 420
Perfluorohexanoic Acid (PFHxA) 400,000

The MCLs for PFOA is now lower than the maximum level that can be discharged into a water source used for drinking water. The MCL for PFOA now supercedes the old cleanup requirements. (See table below.)

The EPA has issued Health Advisory Levels but there is currently no federal regulation regarding PFAS. There are only voluntary options for reporting significant new PFAS uses and monitoring sources.

The State of Michigan has used the EPA guidelines as the enforceable water quality standards and cleanup criteria, and the state is moving through the process of establishing drinking water standards (known as Maximum Contaminant Levels, or MCLs) for 7 PFAS compounds. The currently enforceable level for surface water applies only to wastewater discharged into the water body being used for drinking water. The enforceable level for groundwater being used as drinking water is a rule governing environmental cleanup activities. The current enforceable levels do not provide protection as rigorous as a drinking water standard.

PFAS Health Advisory Levels and Regulatory Cleanup Levels by Type of Exposure

Contaminant and Exposure Type EPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level (ppt) MDEQ Enforcement Level (ppt) Determining Rule or Law
PFOS in groundwater being used for drinking water 70 (individually or in combination with PFOA) 70 (individually or in combination with PFOA)

Cleanup Criteria Requirements for Response Activity

PFOA in groundwater being used for drinking water 70 (individually or in combination with PFOS) 70 (individually or in combination with PFOS)

Cleanup Criteria Requirements for Response Activity

PFAS discharged to surface water used for drinking water for which there is an MCL MCL applies (see above) Rule 57 Water Quality Values
PFOS discharged to surface water not used for drinking water MCL applies in most cases with exceptions (see above) Rule 57 Water Quality Values
PFOS in Fish 300000000 (300 ppb) Rule 57 Part 4 Water Quality Values
PFOA in Fish Rule 57 Part 4 Water Quality Values

The State of Michigan, led by EGLE, continues to test all public water supplies and private water supplies that serve large numbers of the public. Michigan’s fire service community is collecting PFAS fire-fighting foam and removing it from use.

In the Huron River watershed, the City of Ann Arbor continues to test monthly for 24 PFAS chemicals. State agencies are periodically conducting surface water testing, fish sampling, and groundwater site investigations. Outbreaks of suspicious foam and credible information regarding past use of PFAS at specific locations informs both HRWC and state agencies on where to look next.

State of Michigan’s PFAS Action Response Team (MPART)

The State of Michigan started the PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), a multi-agency action team, in 2017 to address the PFAS issue. MPART has information for Michigan residents concerned about PFAS in drinking water. Contact the Michigan Environmental Assistance Center with questions, 800-662-9278, M-F, 8am-4:30pm.

Identifying Sources of PFAS

During the summer of 2018, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) conducted surface water tests at approximately 15 sites throughout the watershed trying to identify a source of PFAS in the Huron River. Additionally, the MDHHS is collecting and analyzing fish samples. More broadly, MDEQ has also begun testing drinking water from all schools that use well water and community water supplies for PFAS. Sampling results are available through the MPART website. Statewide, treatment plants that treat industrial wastewater have also been under scrutiny, and such testing of effluent lead to the detection of PFAS at the Wixom Wastewater Treatment Plant.

There is still much we don’t know about PFAS. We know they are bad for human health, but the levels that lead to health impacts could be variable from specific PFAS chemical to chemical.

We know a major source of PFAS to the Huron River was a manufacturer in Wixom. Filtration systems have removed most of the PFOS and PFOA contamination from that site, but a much lower level of PFAS persists in the river. There are other unidentified sources out there, and until we know where they are, we won’t know how to clean it up.

HRWC has many unanswered questions about PFAS–about how they behave in the environment, how we can keep them out of our waterways, and how we can clean up contaminated areas. We will continue to provide updates on our website, social media, and through regular newsletters. HRWC staff present regularly on PFAS throughout the watershed. Please reach out to any of our staff if you have questions, concerns, or information.

For general questions or concerns about PFAS, or to find out who best to speak with, HRWC is happy to help. Contact Daniel Brown here.

For specific concerns about contamination of private wells, please contact your county health department:

Washtenaw County Health Department

Environmental Health Division

Livingston County Health Department

Environmental Health Division

Oakland County Health Department

Environmental Health Division
Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-5 PM
248-858-1312 Pontiac (North Oakland)
248-424-7190 Southfield (South Oakland)

Wayne County Health Department

Environmental Health Division
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Monroe County Health Department

Environmental Health Division
Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

City of Ann Arbor, Water Treatment

Contact for PFAS in drinking water questions

Michigan PFAS Response Action Team | Michigan Environmental Assistance Center

Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services | Michigan Eat Safe Fish

Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Michelle Bruneau: bruneaum@michigan.gov
Laura Gossiaux: gossiauxl@michigan.gov
Jennifer Gray – grayj@michigan.gov
Direct general questions to the Michigan Environmental Assistance Center
800-662-9278, M-F, 8am-4:30pm.

HRWC is keeping a close watch on changing conditions in the watershed, our communities, and in the policies that protect those who live here. We will continue to work with EGLE (formerly MDEQ), the Michigan Environmental Council, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and other partners statewide to reduce PFAS contamination. We will continue to raise awareness as new information becomes available, and hold officials accountable. That said, there is currently no federal or state regulation regarding PFAS contamination in drinking water, and HRWC has no governing authority. Unless a community decides to address contamination through local ordinance, reducing PFAS is voluntary.

To address contamination detected at the Wixom Wastewater Treatment Plant, we worked with municipal and county officials in the area to understand the scope of the problem and facilitate community meetings on the subject. Tribar, the company in Wixom that was discharging the PFOS and PFOA (types of PFAS), has changed its process and no longer discharges these “long chain” chemicals. Because of this, the PFOS contamination entering the Huron River from Norton Creek has greatly decreased by 99%.

PFAS contamination will remain in the Huron River for the foreseeable future. It remains unclear when it will be resolved because even as existing pollution is flushed from the river and diluted, new and existing sources continue to discharge PFAS into the river. The first step is to stop releasing these chemicals into our environment.

To learn more about PFAS and what you can do to prevent being exposed or using products with PFAS, here a few good resources:

Michigan.gov PFAS Response

The State of Michigan has created a webpage to address common questions about PFAS, its potential health and environmental impacts, and its sources.

Michigan Department of Environmentla Quality (MDEQ) Public Water Supply Information

MDEQ is testing school drinking water for PFAS as a cautionary step. Information on this page summarizes current sampling results from these locations.

Residential Well Testing

Read answers to common questions and learn more about having your private well tested for PFAS.

Ann Arbor PFAS Information from the Water Treatment Department

The City of Ann Arbor has compiled a document of frequently asked questions for residents and visitors to the area.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) PFAS Resources

The EPA provides a wide range of information on PFAS from introductory material to detailed information on health advisory levels and guidelines. To see what other states are doing about PFAS, click here.

Center for Disease Control/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR)

The CDC provides links to health information, exposure, and additional resources.

Michigan Environmental Council: PFAS in Michigan: What We Know and What We Need

MEC provides a digest on the status of PFAS contamination and specific proposed policy solutions in Michigan.

PFAS in the News

5/22/21 | Ann Arbor Total PFAS Levels rise due to increase in new, unregulated PFAS used by Tribar

An unregulated PFOS replacement chemical that is also toxic has been introduced at Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom. Along with other sources and other chemicals, total PFAS levels at Ann Arbor have been slowly rising.

1/14/20 | PFAS limits for drinking water focus of public hearing tonight near Ann Arbor

State officials are seeking more feedback on proposed limits for the harmful fluorochemicals Tuesday, Jan. 14.

11/7/19 | PFAS Confirmed at Former Chrysler Facility along Huron River

PFAS chemicals have been confirmed at concerning levels at a former Chrysler manufacturing facility along the Huron River in Scio Township. The PFAS chemicals are making their way to the river, but it’s unclear if contamination from the site is affecting the level of contamination at Ann Arbor’s Barton Pond drinking water intake.

10/31/19 | ‘Polluter panel’ hits pause on Michigan PFAS drinking water rules

Business and industry representatives appointed to a controversial regulatory oversight board by former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder temporarily slowed down advancing drinking water standards that would limit PFAS in Michigan drinking water.

9/12/19 | $1.4 million approved to dispose of PFAS-containing firefighting foam in Michigan.

Michigan has approved funds for the collection and disposal of hazardous firefighting material. The PFAS-containing firefighting foam will be solidified and disposed of in a landfill containing carbon filters to provide additional containment.

8/22/19 | Ann Arbor water official on PFAS: ‘Achieving zero is not necessarily the best solution’

Ann Arbor drinking water experts discuss the challenges and tradeoffs of treating PFAS contamination.

8/06/19 | $1.3M state grant to help Ann Arbor deal with PFAS in city water

Ann Arbor will be accepting a $1.3 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy for its continuous effort for PFAS removal. The money will be used to pay for new carbon filters, the city’s pilot testing of its new PFAS filtering techniques, and communication to improve citizen outreach. 

7/24/19 | US military launches PFAS task force

New U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper began his tenure by launching a PFAS task force. This task force has been deployed to investigate issues surrounding PFAS and military bases by conducting research on health impacts, clean up standards, firefighting foam alternatives and pinpointing sources of PFAS as it relates to military operations.  Secretary Esper says the DOD is committed to addressing and fixing all defense activities that release harmful substances.

7/17/19 | US Representative Elissa Slotkin hosts Public Forum on PFAS

On July 8th, U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin hosted a public forum on PFAS. Rep. Slotkin and panel of experts discussed what was being done at the local, state and federal levels to address PFAS. The panelists reassured public concerns stating; that public drinking water in the Huron River Watershed is well below the 70 parts per trillion EPA health advisory for PFAS. There is no reason to change ones recreation on the water such as swimming, boating and river recreation, just do not eat the fish or touch the foam.

6/27/19 | Michigan lawmakers seize critical defense bill to tackle PFAS in drinking water

Michigan lawmakers in both houses of Congress are pushing to pass defense legislation that includes regulations and cleanup on PFAS. The National Defense Authorization Act would add PFAS to the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, bar military from buying firefighting foam and substances to assemble “meals ready-to-eat” (MREs) made from PFAS chemicals. The bill would also authorize $45 million over five years for the U.S. Geological Survey to study PFAS contamination across the country.

6/26/19 | U.S. House of Representatives passes $60M PFAS cleanup bill

The U.S. House of Representatives have passed a $60 million bill that will help clean up PFAS around prior military bases like the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan.

6/21/19 | PFAS contamination in Ypsilanti Township unlikely to harm public, state says

PFAS contamination found near the Willow Run Airport were above acceptable levels. However, state officials have deemed it as no imminent threat to the public and the drinking water is safe because the water tested on site is not the same water that you are going to drink.

6/18/19 |Ann Arbor spending another $950K on PFAS filters for water plant

The City Council has voted unanimously to buy new GAC filters to replace old carbon filters that are losing its filtering capabilities. The city’s PFAS management strategy continues to meet the most restrictive public health criteria, Brian Steglitz, the city’s water plant manager, wrote in the city’s June issue of Quality Water Matters, a new monthly report about city water issues. 

6/04/19 |Team of MSU Scientists Tackling The PFAS Crisis 

In an effort to solve PFAS, various Michigan State University programs and scientists are developing solutions to remove PFAS from our waters.

5/31/19 | Ann Arbor to re-evaluate alternate drinking water sources

With threats like PFAS and dioxane, city officials ponder the long term future of drinking water in Ann Arbor and once again weigh the option of alternate water sources.

4/30/19 | Kildee reintroduces plan for PFAS limit in drinking water

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) has reintroduced legislation requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set an enforceable drinking water limit for PFAS.

4/26/19 | Residential well testing now part of Michigan’s response to PFAS in Huron River

Testing for PFAS continues in the spring of 2019 along the Huron River. State officials are awaiting test results for a dozen residential wells, one community water supply and fish.

4/11/19 | State announces panel members who will set PFAS drinking water limit

The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) announced three experts to serve as a panel that will determine drinking water limits for a suite of toxic chemicals including PFAS.

4/5/19 | Michigan sets new health screening limits for 5 types of PFAS

Michigan’s response to PFAS contamination now includes screening levels for five forms of the chemicals, a move that sets a significantly lower base-line for considering potential health effects for people exposed to them.

4/1/19 | NRDC pushing Michigan to set very low PFAS drinking water limits

The Natural Resources Defense Council is pushing Michigan to adopt public drinking water standards for several toxic PFAS chemicals that would be the strictest thus far of any state in the nation.

3/27/19 | Issues Of The Environment: The Huron River, PFAS Contamination, And You

In WEMU’s ‘Issues of the Environment,’ get the latest on the health of the river, and how it affects you for the spring and summer ahead from Huron River Watershed Council executive director, Laura Rubin.

3/26/19 | Michigan will draft PFAS standards for public drinking water

Gretchen Whitmer ordered the Department of Environmental Quality to begin the regulatory process for establishing drinking water standards for PFAS, a class of chemicals found at some level in public supplies serving 1.4 million in Michigan last year.

3/21/19 | PFAS pollution already costing Michigan communities millions of dollars

Michigan residents are already paying to address the state’s PFAS contamination even as officials work to get a handle on the depth of the problem.

3/8/19 | PFAS, dioxane top concerns at clean water forum in Scio Township

Approximately 140 100 residents and officials concerned about threats to local water supplies packed into Scio Township Hall for a forum Thursday night. Daniel Brown of HRWC served on the panel.

3/6/19 | Whitmer proposes $120M for Michigan drinking water

ov. Gretchen Whitmer is proposing $120 million in new general fund spending to improve drinking water infrastructure.

2/15/19 | Ann Arbor lawmakers propose polluter-pay cleanup law for Michigan

“When I was a child and I spilled a glass of orange juice on the counter, I usually would have to clean it up,” Yousef Rabhi said, addressing frustrations about the Dioxane plume in Ann Arbor and PFAS contamination in the Huron River.

1/29/19 | Trump administration won’t set legal limit for PFAS in drinking water, report says

Despite the urging of the growing number of people concerned about PFAS, indications are emerging that the EPA won’t include a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS in public water supplies.

1/16/19 | Why did it take so long to sound the alarm on PFAS in the Huron River?

Background on the history of Michigan’s testing for PFAS in water and the state’s current response now that officials know about PFAS contamination.

1/9/19 | Issues Of The Environment: Ann Arbor Moves Forward In Addressing PFAS Chemicals In Drinking Water

WEMU’s David Fair discusses next steps with Brian Steglitz, manager of the City of Ann Arbor’s Water Treatment Services unit.

12/20/18 | Ann Arbor-area school on bottled water after PFAS contaminates well

After finding PFAS chemicals in its well water, Emerson School in Lodi Township is on bottled water and considering options for remediation.

12/19/18 | PFAS investigation has state looking at new site near Ann Arbor

MDEQ investigations are looking into a site along the river in Washtenaw County’s Scio Township, just west of Ann Arbor.

12/19/18 | Ann Arbor water official explains why city didn’t report PFAS totals sooner

Ann Arbor is monitoring more PFAS chemicals than is currently required by state or federal guidelines.

12/18/18 | Seven Types of PFAS Chemicals in Ann Arbor Drinking Water

In addition to the two PFAS chemicals for which health advisories exist, Ann Arbor is proactively monitoring many other types that may have similar health impacts.

12/17/18 | Michigan weighs conflicting messages on PFAS policy

Michigan legislators considered revisions to a bill on Tuesday that will weaken safety standards for PFAS on the same morning when a panel of scientists revealed recommendations for strengthening standards on contamination from the same toxic chemical family.

12/11/18 | PFAS levels in Ann Arbor drinking water spiked and city isn’t sure why

PFAS levels in Ann Arbor’s drinking water increased in October even as a major source upriver saw levels decrease. City officials aren’t sure why.

12/10/18 | Michigan PFAS safety level could weaken under lame duck bill

Scientific and legal experts say legislation pending in Michigan would double an existing safety threshold for toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water, hamper the state’s ability to rely on new toxicity science and create loopholes in state law to grandfather potentially weakened standards into future cleanups.

11/29/18 | Businesses discharging PFAS into Michigan’s waterways

MLive investigation: Manufacturing sources are sending “forever chemicals” at up to 20,000 times the allowed amount into wastewater systems that discharge it into the state’s lakes, rivers and, ultimately, threatening drinking water supplies for millions of people.

11/13/18 | Scientist: PFAS has been contaminating Michigan population for years

State officials, scientists, and residents discussed PFAS contamination in Michigan at a U.S. Senate Field Hearing hosted by Senator Gary Peters.

10/22/18 | Low PFAS Levels Detected At Two Pinckney Schools

Testing has revealed very low PFAS levels (4 ppt) in water supplies at two Pinckney schools. Officials say there is no cause for alarm.

10/18/18 | Survey: More than 100 MI fire departments have PFAS foam

Nearly half of about 300 Michigan fire departments said they have reserves of firefighting foam that has the potential to contaminate groundwater.

10/9/18 | PFAS causes ‘Do not eat the fish’ advisories

The State of Michigan has been issuing “Don’t Eat the Fish” advisories along lakes, rivers and streams, but there are concerns about whether state officials are doing as much as they should.

10/5/18 | “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory continues for Chain of Lakes and Huron River

The “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory will continue on the Huron River and Chain of Lakes for the foreseeable future as new fish samples from Portage Lake showed high levels of PFAS contamination.

10/4/18 | New source and route identified for PFAS contaminating Huron River

While solutions were being put in place for the presumed major source of PFAS contamination to the Huron River, at least two other sources with different pathways of contamination were discovered.

10/2/18 | Temporary filters will reduce PFAS heading into Huron River

Tribar Manufacturing (a.k.a. Adept Plating and Plastics), plans to install massive, portable granular activated carbon filtration systems to reduce their discharged PFAS contamination. The filters are expected to be operational October 5th.

9/24/18 | ‘Astronomical’ PFAS level sets new Michigan contamination milestone

Pollution in Norton Creek, which feeds the Huron River in Oakland County, set a new state record for level of PFAS contamination.

9/19/18 | PFAS found in high concentrations in Huron River Foam

MDHSS is advising people to avoid swallowing foam or letting their pets near it on the Huron River.

9/14/18 | PFAS Firefighting Foams are still in use in Michigan
Firefighting foams containing PFAS chemicals are a major source of contamination but fire departments are still using them.

9/11/18 | Michigan health officials downplay danger of PFAS at levels near advisory

State and local health department officials downplayed PFAS exposure risks, at levels near the federal advisory level, saying caution should be exercised but more research was needed.

9/7/18 | EPA will hold PFAS meetings in Michigan after all

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell pressed the Environmental Protection Agency to restore plans to hold an engagement meeting in the state. She later said the EPA committed to the idea.

9/6/18 | Congress urged to ‘act swiftly’ on national PFAS laws

Advocates pressed Congress to pursue actions to remove PFAS from drinking water supplies. A question from U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell revealed that Michigan does not test for a particular group of PFAS chemicals that have been associated with negative health effects in North Carolina.

9/4/18 | Democratic lawmakers continue call for PFAS hearings, legislation

Democrats again called for movement of legislation they introduced December 2017 that would lower PFOS and PFOA drinking water levels to 5 parts per trillion each.

(HB 5375)

Issues Of The Environment: PFAS And The Huron River Part 2

WEMU’s David Fair revisits the PFAS situation with Laura Rubin.

9/4/18 | Democrats want Legislature to move PFAS bill, hold hearings

Michigan House Democrats criticized the rigor of Michigan’s PFAS response and pointed to stalled legislation that would establish drinking water standards. They also referenced reports that state regulators ignored warnings about the crisis for several years.

9/4/18 | Metro Detroit auto supplier is a source of PFAS pollution in Huron River

Adept Plastic Finishing Inc. Plant 4 in Wixom sent high levels of PFOS into the wastewater treatment plant, according to a test in mid-May. The measured level was 28,000 parts per trillion, more than 2,300 times the health advisory level of 12 parts per trillion.

8/31/18 | WEMU: Issues Of The Environment: PFAS And The Huron River

Huron River Watershed Council executive director Laura Rubin dispels some misconceptions about the advisory and discusses the concerns the contamination raises for the present and future health of the river.

8/31/18 | Michigan says PFAS makes all fish in Huron River unsafe to eat

PFAS tests showed that all fish in a five-county span of the Huron River contain too much contamination for people to eat them.

8/30/18 | Ann Arbor will propose new plan to reduce PFAS in drinking water

Ann Arbor plans to seek $850,000 to upgrade filtration at its water treatment plant and reduce PFAS contamination in its drinking water.

8/29/18 | Michigan cut from EPA national PFAS forum tour

Plans for a Michigan public forum on PFAS contamination led by the EPA were scuttled over disagreements between the state and federal government.

8/24/18 | Bill would give $45M for nationwide PFAS testing

Senate Bill 3382, or the PFAS Detection Act, is co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D. It authorizes $45 million for the U.S. Geological Survey to test for PFAS contamination near drinking water sources around the country and develop advanced methods for finding “as many compounds as possible” at lower concentrations.

8/22/18 | Michigan searches for source of PFAS contamination in Huron River

Michigan officials continued to hunt for the source of the contaminant that prompted an urgent “do not eat” advisory for fish in three southeast Michigan counties.

8/8/18 |  PFAS and the Huron River

Blog by Laura Rubin that provides overview of the issue for the Huron River Watershed and its inhabitants.

8/4/18 | PFAS ‘Do Not Eat’ fish advisory issued for Huron River in 3 counties

State health officials issued an emergency PFAS “Do Not Eat” fish consumption advisory Saturday for several water bodies on the Huron River within parts of Oakland, Livingston and Washtnenaw counties.

7/25/18 | Issues Of The Environment: PFAs Contamination Throughout Michigan And In Washtenaw County<

PFAS have found their way in Washtenaw County’s drinking water, and that can lead to numerous health and environmental problems.  David Fair talks about this situation with Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso, toxicologist and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan.

1/10/18 | State Takes Action to Strengthen Environmental Criteria in Response to PFAS Contamination

Following EPA health advisory levels, Michigan established drinking water criteria for PFOS and PFOA that allows MDEQ to take regulatory enforcement action.