April 28, 2020
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen a proposed rule on review and reporting requirements of new uses for the toxic and persistent chemicals of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS.
PFAS contamination in groundwater and surface water has been identified at dozens of sites in Michigan. The substances have been shown to cause adverse health effects including developmental defects, kidney cancer, liver damage, and impacts on the thyroid and immune system. Attorney General Nessel has made the protection of drinking water and the environment one of her top priorities, and recently filed a lawsuit against PFAS manufacturers to hold those companies responsible for the injuries and damages they profited from.
“I am fighting here in Michigan to get toxic PFAS out of our drinking water and our natural resources, and the other attorneys general who signed this comment letter are fighting the same battle in their own states,” Nessel said. “EPA needs to do its part with strong, sensible review and reporting of materials containing PFAS that are entering our communities.”
PFAS chemicals are used in a variety of consumer products including nonstick cookware; waterproofing treatments for fabrics, carpeting and upholstery; food packaging; and firefighting foam.
PFAS do not break down easily in the environment, which is why they are called "forever chemicals."
The attorneys general urged EPA to broaden a proposed rule to require review and reporting on new uses of materials containing long-chain (more persistent) PFAS, both to ensure that any necessary restrictions on unsafe uses can be imposed, and to give the public and state and local governments information about the introduction of these items into the marketplace before their persistent PFAS components are released into the environment.
Nessel joins the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin in filing the comment letter.