Michigan governor seeks cap on 'forever' chemicals in water

Mar 28, 2019

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday directed Michigan's environmental agency to develop drinking water standards for certain toxic industrial chemicals rather than waiting for updated federal guidelines.

The rules will cover long-lasting "forever" chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which were long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which has established a nonbinding health advisory threshold of 70 parts per trillion, last month announced plans to consider setting nationwide limits on the toxic chemicals. Whitmer, a Democrat, said she will not wait for the Trump administration to act — a move that drew praise from environmental groups, lawmakers and others.

"This is a serious issue that is impacting more and more communities," she told reporters before speaking about her recently proposed budget with Lansing-area business leaders. "I think Michigan can be a leader in combating (PFAS). But it's going to be driven by science and facts."

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