DEQ takes first step in establishing PFAS drinking water standards

Water pouring into a glass from a faucet.March 27, 2019

The Department of Environmental Quality has filed a Request for Rulemaking with the Office of Regulatory Reinvention in response to Governor Whitmer's directive to establish PFAS drinking water standards for Michigan's water supplies. The Governor issued the directive March 26, which reaffirms her commitment to ensure safe drinking water for Michigan residents.

In her statement, the Governor said:

"All Michiganders deserve to know that we are prioritizing their health and are working every day to protect the water that is coming out of their taps.

"As a result, Michigan will begin the process to establish PFAS drinking water standards that protect public health and the environment. Michigan has long advocated that the federal government establish national standards to protect the nation's water from PFAS contamination, but we can no longer wait for the Trump Administration to act.

"Today I'm directing the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team to form a science advisory workgroup to review both existing and proposed health-based drinking water standards from around the nation to inform the rulemaking process for appropriate Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) for Michigan by no later than July 1, 2019. Additionally, I'm directing the Department of Environmental Quality to immediately file a Request for Rulemaking to establish enforceable MCLs for PFAS in our drinking water supplies. The proposed regulations will be completed on an accelerated schedule with input from stakeholders by no later than October 1, 2019.

"These actions will move us a step closer towards finding real and permanent solutions to ensuring that all Michiganders know that they can trust their drinking water."

Filing the Request for Rulemaking is the first step in the rule development process. In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, the Office of Regulatory Reinvention will evaluate the request to verify the appropriate and necessary policy and legal basis exists for proceeding with the development of a new rule.

Following approval of the request, the Department will consult with a diverse group of stakeholders to receive input on elements of the new regulation. It is anticipated that the Department will complete the regulation drafting process by October 1, 2019, as required by the Governor. After October, additional steps in the rule making process begin, including a public hearing, a public comment period, and legislative review by the Joint Committee on Administrative Review.  The regulations will also be subject to review by the Environmental Regulations Review Commission.


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