Michigan Sets New Chemical Standards for Water

New regulations to control acceptable acid levels

Michigan has passed new chemical regulations for the state's water supply

Michigan has put forth new regulations regarding chemical levels in the state’s water. Specifically, the new levels will attempt to control perfluorooctanoic and perfluorooctanesulfonic acids, changing the combined standard to 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

In the past, such chemicals were often found in prominence throughout the state’s drinking water supply. According to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Heidi Grether, the new regulations will afford the department vital powers of enforcement.

“This new standard allows us to take regulatory enforcement actions, something we have not been able to do absent a state criterion,” Grether said. “This means we will now have tools to mandate a responsible party conduct activities to address PFOA and PFOS contamination, thereby reducing risk to human health and the environment.”

The subject chemicals were often used in firefighting, waterproofing and carpeting, among other products. The U.S. EPA still only categorizes these acids as “emerging” contaminants, and their effect on human health remains inconclusive.

This development follows $23 million in emergency spending passed by the state legislature in November to be utilized in combating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

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