State Council Moves Forward With PFAS Limits In Drinking Water

The state is looking to make huge strides in the fight against PFAS in drinking water.

On Thursday, the Environmental Rules Review Council approved the state’s first maximum thresholds for PFAS chemicals in the state’s drinking water.

“It is a contaminant that we call of emerging concerns,” says Eric Oswald, director of the drinking water department at EGLE.

PFAS have become the newest threat to Michigan’s drinking water and the state wants to officially put caps on the contamination, finding out what amounts are allowed.Pfas Rules Pic

“We turn those health based values into what we call maximum contaminant levels,” says Oswald, “Which sets a standard over which water suppliers have to match their drinking water.”

Anything over these limits is on the water supplier to clean up.

“Any public water supply,” says Oswald, “That’s a community water supply. Your larger municipalities or a non-transient community, like schools larger businesses.”

The council heard from the public on some of the concerns with such strict guidelines.

“It will present new implementation challenges across the state with thousands of systems needing reporting,” said one public comment, “On a smaller scale several smaller systems will have to install treatment.”

“There needs to be a full proper accounting of the costs for municipal water systems citizens and employers.” says another.

One option was to take more time for review but the majority of the council wanted to get it done as soon as possible.

“We are just continuing to delay and put people in harms way,” says Jeremy Orr.

In the end, the council approved the rules and the final decision will now move on to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to be put in effect.

“It could be anywhere from a month to two or three months,” says Oswald, “So we could be looking May or June before it actually becomes effective.”