What You Need to Know About PFAS Contamination
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as PFCs, have been classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as an emerging contaminant on the national level. PFAS are a suite of chemicals historically used in thousands of applications throughout the industrial, food, and textile industries. They are incredibly stable, breaking down very slowly in the environment, and are highly soluble, easily transferring through soil to groundwater. PFAS contamination has been identified in several locations across the state of Michigan as a result of use in multiple industries across the State. PFAS is used in firefighting foams, food packaging, cleaning products, and various other products. It is also used by many industries such as plating, tanneries, or clothing manufacturers, where waterproofing may be required or a protective film is needed in a manufacturing process.
Governor Snyder and the State of Michigan are taking action to address this issue in a proactive and innovative way. Ten state departments, in coordination with local and federal officials across Michigan, are working together to ensure that the public health and safety of residents is protected while ensuring our environmental heritage is secure for generations of Michiganders to come.
This site is intended to serve as the main resource for public information on PFAS contamination in Michigan. It will be updated regularly as additional facts about the issue and locations impacted becomes available.
The development and maintenance of cooperative relationships among local, state, and federal agencies is necessary for the mitigation of PFAS contamination. This directive is intended to address the need for cooperation and coordination among agencies at all levels of government charged with identifying PFAS contaminants, informing and empowering the public, and mitigating the potential effects. Particularly in view of the current lack of nationwide best practice, the directive will further serve to set a strategic and proactive approach against this emerging contaminant.
Wolverine Worldwide, Inc. (Wolverine) used the property located near House Street NE and Herrington Avenue NE for the disposal of industrial wastes generated from the production of water resistant consumer products. The property is located in rural Plainfield Township, Kent County, Michigan. Area residences surrounding the disposal area are served by private water wells.
The Camp Grayling environmental staff regularly monitor a number of environmental factors at the camp and airfield to ensure safety, compliance with state and federal regulations, and to proactively detect and remedy potential problems. The most recent proactive measure was to test water samples for the presence of PFCs. A few of the samples detected PFCs at levels above EPA guidance.
In 2012, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a "do not eat" fish advisory for all fish caught from Clark's Marsh and for resident fish in the lower Au Sable River, south of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. Laboratory analysis of fish from the marsh and resident fish from the river showed levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the fish that are unsafe for people. Migratory fish in the river are not expected to have high levels of PFCs but some have advisories due to other chemicals.
If any resident has additional questions regarding this issue, the State of Michigan Environmental Assistance Center can be contacted at 800-662-9278 or email at email@example.com. Representatives may be reached to assist with your questions Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
If you are concerned about exposure to PFAS in your drinking water, please contact the MDHHS Toxicology Hotline at 800-648-6942.