IPP PFAS Initiative

Diagram of PFAS Water Cycle - Click to open a larger PDF.The IPP PFAS Initiative required all municipal WWTPs with required IPPs (95 statewide) to find out if they were passing through PFOS and/or PFOA to surface waters and, if found, to reduce and eliminate any sources.  Under the Initiative, WWTPs were required to:

  • Identify industrial users to their system that were potential sources of PFAS.
  • Sample probable sources and their WWTP discharge (effluent) if sources were above screening criteria (12 parts per trillion PFOS).
  • Require source reduction at confirmed sources.  This is being accomplished through pollutant minimization plans, equipment/tank change out/clean outs, product replacement, and installation of pretreatment to remove PFAS, specifically PFOS, prior to discharge.
  • Monitor compliance of  confirmed sources  and ensure that they meet local IPP PFAS requirements.
  • Submit required reports and monitoring results as required by EGLE's Water Resources Division (WRD).

As a part of this effort, the WRD developed numerous documents, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Wastewater PFAS Sampling Guidance, and Recommended PFAS Screening and Evaluation Guidance.  These documents are linked below for your information.

Please see the PFAS Response-Wastewater Treatment Plants/IPP page for additional PFAS information related to wastewater treatment plants.

Information about the IPP PFAS Initiative

Outreach to IPP WWTPs

EGLE sent a series of letters to IPP WWTPs in Michigan about the Initiative that describe its requirements and provide guidance:

To kick off the effort, EGLE held IPP PFAS Initiative Regional Information Meetings and an EGLE IPP PFAS Initiative webinar (4/11/18, 61 min).  EGLE developed general guidance to WWTPs based on the comments and questions received at these events.  See Recommended PFAS Screening & Evaluation Procedure for IPPs and ​PFAS Frequently Asked Questions for IPPs. For guidance to WWTPs specific to sample collection and analysis, see Wastewater PFAS Sampling Guidance and Suggested PFAS Laboratory Analytes.

Strategy and Implementation

The strategy for the IPP PFAS Initiative may be understood by reviewing information in the "Outreach to IPP WWTP" section above.  For PFOS effluent values by municipal WWTPs participating in the IPP PFAS Initiative, see the Michigan IPP WWTP PFAS Status Map. The IPP PFAS Staff Map shows regional staff contact information.

The Municipal NPDES Permitting Strategy for PFOS and PFOA describes how the IPP PFAS Initiative results affect NPDES permits for municipal wastewater treatment plants discharging to surface waters.  Information about residuals management and PFAS may be found at the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) Land Application Workgroup web page and the Michigan Biosolids PFAS-related Information and Links web page.

EGLE Research, Studies, and Reports

In addition to the IPP PFAS Initiative, EGLE has conducted a study of 42 municipal WWTPs to evaluate the presence of PFAS in influents, effluents, and associated residuals (sludge/biosolids), plus screening of 29 land application sites to further understand the potential impacts from land-applied biosolids.  For a summary of the study and initial findings of the IPP PFAS Initiative, see the Summary Report:  PFAS in Municipal Wastewater and Associated Residuals (Sludge/Biosolids).  For the complete detailed report covering the IPP PFAS Initiative and the Statewide Study of 42 municipal WWTPs, see Evaluation of PFAS in Influent, Effluent, and Residuals of Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in Michigan.

For a summary of the land application site screening results, see Statewide Wastewater Treatment Plant and Biosolids PFAS Study: Field Reports Summary.  See the below attachments for detailed field reports covering the screening results for individual land application sites. 

EGLE and the USEPA conducted the study, PFAS in Fume Suppressant Products at Chrome Plating Facilities, to assist in compliance efforts undertaken by the chrome plating industry in Michigan, where many platers have had to invest significant resources to install pretreatment systems to remove PFOS from their process wastewater even though they complied with federal requirements to discontinue use of the PFOS-based fume suppressants years prior. Samples of 9 different fume suppressants and effluent from 11 platers were collected in July 2019.  See the above link for the full report and/or view the recorded (free) webinar about the study.

EGLE review of data found that the majority of significant PFOS sources to WWTPs were landfills that accepted industrial wastes containing PFOS, metal finishers with a history of fume suppressant use, and contaminated sites associated with industries or activities with PFOS usage.  Other sources found included centralized waste treaters (CWT), paper manufacturing/packaging, commercial industrial laundries, chemical manufacturers, and sewers contaminated with aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).  To read the full report, see the Source Report: Identified Industrial Sources of PFOS to Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (Report).

More Information & Useful Links

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: PFAS and Your Health

EPA: PFAS in Your Environment

Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council: PFAS Fact Sheets

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: Perfluorinated Chemicals

NEBRA information update: PFAS in Biosolids