PFAS News Roundup: Hunting and fishing restrictions expanded, Duluth water safe, attorneys general urge stricter action

PFAS News Roundup: Hunting and fishing restrictions expanded, Duluth water safe, attorneys general urge stricter action
June 5, 2020 Natasha Blakely
Photo by Sandra Svoboda

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

In this edition: Hunting and fishing restrictions expanded near Oscoda after studies show PFAS in most wildlife, Michigan State University launches PFAS research center, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says Duluth water is safe, Wisconsin firefighting foam manufacturers receive notice of noncompliance for refusing further testing, PFAS testing complicated by end of Wisconsin stay home order, and attorneys general from 18 states including six Great Lakes states send letter urging stricter PFAS action from EPA.

Click on the headline to read the full story:


State officials last year — too quietly, some contend — expanded hunting and fishing restrictions at Clark’s Marsh, near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, after scientific studies showed excessive levels of PFAS in virtually every living creature tested from the area.

Researchers at the new MSU Center for PFAS Research will study the chemicals’ impacts on agriculture, health and natural resources. Scientists in fields including chemistry, engineering, food science, human nutrition, human medicine and packaging will work at the center.


Minnesota Pollution Control Agency responded to St. Louis County commissioners who sought action about leachate discharged into Lake Superior.


A Marinette manufacturer of firefighting foam says it won’t test 500 private wells for PFAS contamination beyond its fire training facility after state regulators said the company failed to complete work as part of an ongoing investigation.

In a May 27 letter, the DNR issued Tyco and Johnson Controls a notice of noncompliance for failure to conduct that work and other requirements laid out in a Feb. 19 letter.

As the realities of the pandemic began setting in, the department sought to continue its efforts to identify and clean up land and waterways contaminated by PFAS. Not long before the Supreme Court decision, the DNR began evaluating a request by Johnson Controls to halt well-water sampling until the statewide public health emergency subsided. Throwing out Safer at Home, however, has affected that evaluation process.


Eighteen state attorneys general – including from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – have filed a multistate comment letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its supplemental proposal to promulgate a significant new use rule for PFAS under the Toxic Substance Control Act.

Catch up with other PFAS headlines and news from Great Lakes Now:

PFAS News Roundup: EPA says limits will take more than a year, Navy halts shipments to burn plant

PFAS News Roundup: Sen. seeks federal probe of Cohoes incinerator, PFAS actions added to Senate bills, DuPont foresees settlements

MPART: Michigan’s efforts to root out and deal with PFAS contamination

Coping with PFAS: How have families been dealing with PFAS contamination in their communities

PFAS Around the Great Lakes Region: Actions taken in each state or province and standards set, if any

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Featured image: A freighter leaves Duluth, Minn., heading out to Lake Superior. (Photo by Sandra Svoboda)


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