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PFAS News Roundup: Indiana introduces PFAS bills, Michigan citizens unhappy about 8-month disclosure delay

PFAS News Roundup: Indiana introduces PFAS bills, Michigan citizens unhappy about 8-month disclosure delay
March 12, 2021 Natasha Blakely

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.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Indiana:

Following a rising trend among states nationwide, two bills filed at the legislature this year would tackle PFAS blind spots.

One would establish a maximum contaminant level for PFAS in state drinking water, a measure already adopted by at least 6 other states. The other bill would test PFAS levels in current and former military members, who are more likely to be exposed to the toxins because of their use on military bases.

Michigan: 

Travel vouchers to make up for costs associated with public water connections for impacted residents were floated as part of discussions around a PFAS water contamination investigation in East Bay Township.

Grand Traverse County Board Chairman Rob Hentschel suggested in an email to a Cherry Capital Airport official that perhaps travel vouchers could be given to nearby residents impacted by PFAS contamination in their water wells, according to information released to the Record-Eagle under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.

Do not keep people in the dark about potential exposure to harmful chemicals even if an investigation hasn’t provided all the answers yet.

That message was delivered to state officials by members of a citizen advisory panel, who sharply criticized the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy for waiting the eight months to tell homeowners about an investigation into private well contamination from toxic “forever chemicals” near the Traverse City airport.

Local outrage about the eight-month delay in notification to affected residents in a groundwater PFAS pollution investigation in East Bay Township turned into state action — bureaucratic action, that is.

Members of the Citizen’s Advisory Workgroup for the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team on Tuesday night talked at length about the delay in informing 18 homes in the Pine Grove neighborhood where contaminated water was found in private wells.

Those in West Michigan affected by PFAS are encouraged to participate in a state study that seeks to learn more about the impact the environmental contaminant may have on residents’ health.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging affected West Michigan residents to sign up for the Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study, according to a press release from MDHHS.

New York:

A year after revelations that the Norlite aggregate/incineration plant in Cohoes had been burning hazardous PFAS chemicals, state investigators say they have found no evidence of widespread water or soil contamination around the facility.

The Department of Environmental Conservation, which began taking samples last fall and produced a 449-page report, said the study “found no clearly discernible pattern of aerial deposition that could be traced to Norlite’s operation.”

Wisconsin:

The City of La Crosse claims products containing PFAS chemicals caused contamination of public and private wells in a lawsuit filed against nearly two dozen chemical companies on Thursday.

The suit filed by Milwaukee-based law firm Crueger Dickinson and firm Napoli Shkolnik in La Crosse County Circuit Court alleges that cities like La Crosse used aqueous firefighting foams (AFFF) that contained perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for decades without any knowledge of the harmful effects the chemicals pose to public health. They say chemical manufacturers like 3M, DuPont and Tyco Fire Products knew of the risks associated with PFAS.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says it will continue sampling drinking water wells in the Town of Peshtigo for PFAS.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been found in the area. They have been connected to firefighting foam used at Johnson Controls’ Tyco Fire Products testing facility in Marinette.


Catch up on more PFAS news on Great Lakes Now:

PFAS is in fish and wildlife. Researchers prowl Michigan for clues.

PFAS in the House: Are toxic “forever chemicals” a steady drip in this reporter’s home?

PFAS News Roundup: Pennsylvania water utility sues 3M, Dupont, Michigan officials waited 8 months to warn residents

PFAS News Roundup: Minnesota sets new PFAS blueprint, Biden EPA dumps PFAS assessment over ‘political interference’

Nonstick pans often don’t note they use PFAS

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


Featured image: Indiana Statehouse (Photo Credit: Indiana GLBT Connections via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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