Air Quality Workgroup

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Mission:

To review and share the current state of the science for PFAS in air and develop health-based screening levels for PFAS in air for the protection of public health and the environment. Identify PFAS use and sources of PFAS emissions, and regulate where authorized within established time frames for permitting and inspection activities.

The Air Quality Workgroup consists of staff from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • On November 6, 2019, formed a Multi-State PFAS Air Quality Workgroup to discuss all aspects of PFAS air quality related accomplishments and challenges across various states. Topics have included PFAS air modeling and monitoring. Workgroup staff organizes and facilitates monthly calls currently including 12 states. This Multi-State PFAS Air Quality Workgroup also serves as one of the Topical Workgroups under the Great Lakes States PFAS Task Force.
  • On December 13, 2019, coordinated a letter signed by the MPART Executive Director with MPART’s Wastewater Workgroup to send to all chromium electroplating facilities to encourage PFAS pollution prevention activities. Chromium electroplating facilities use PFAS-containing materials to help prevent the emissions of hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen.
  • On February 3, 2020, the MPART Executive Director signed a letter to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Docket drafted by members of the MPART Air Quality and Human Health Workgroups. The letter recommended PFAS be added to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI Program is a tool EPA may use to understand the releases of PFAS by industrial and federal facilities. This information may be helpful to inform decision-making by communities, government agencies, companies and others. Please go here for additional information. Recently the National Defense Authorization Act added 172 PFAS to the TRI, reports are due July 1, 2021. 
  • On March 25, 2020, organized and hosted a virtual meeting for the Multi-State PFAS Air Quality Workgroup with a guest speaker from the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene to discuss PFAS in precipitation.

Next Steps:

  • Continue to communicate with other states and EPA about the best way to define, identify, monitor, reduce and control PFAS released into the air.
  • Members will continue to participate in quarterly EPA National Hazardous Waste Combustion calls.
  • Continue to facilitate an MPART discussion group to develop a technical definition of PFAS.
  • Continue to work on information collected from chromium electroplating facilities to identify PFAS use and alternatives.

Research/Studies: 

  • The Air Quality Workgroup is not currently involved in any research activities. However, staff track the studies currently underway to monitor PFAS in the ambient air, test for PFAS emissions from point sources and understand the destruction of PFAS via incineration and discuss the status of this effort with EPA’s Office of Research and Development scientists. Workgroup members with EGLE’s Air Quality Division (AQD) also develop human health screening levels for PFAS in air where appropriate to address human health and environmental concerns.

Timeline of Accomplishments: 

  • February 5, 2018:  Workgroup members of EGLE’s AQD developed health-based screening levels for PFOS and PFOA in air through the AQD’s Air Toxics Program.
  • Various other presentations were given to EPA Region 5 staff, EGLE staff, the State’s Air Advisory Council (AAC) and Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) in 2018.
  • September 21, 2018:  Gave a PFAS air quality presentation at the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) national meeting.
  • October 1, 2018:  Requested AQD staff inspect all regulated chrome platers and staff determined all were in compliance with the National Emission Standard for Chromium Emissions from Hard and Decorative Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks. All were in compliance with the prohibition against using PFOS-based fume suppressants after 2015; however, several were still using other PFAS-based fume suppressants.
  • April 25, 2019:  Gave a presentation to the LADCO on PFAS air quality issues.
  • July 17, 2019:  Presented along with staff from EPA Region 5 to the “Auto Suppliers Partnership for the Environment” on PFAS use in the chromium electroplating industry.
  • July 31, 2019:  Gave a presentation on PFAS air quality issues to Wisconsin DNR Commissioner and management staff.
  • In summer 2019:  With the help of EGLE student interns, mapped regulated chromium electroplating facilities and tracked sources identified via permitting, exemption, and inspection activities as possibly using/emitting PFAS.
  • August 20, 2019:  Completed a FAQ on PFAS air quality related issues to address questions from the public. This document is currently posted on the MPART webpage (www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse and click on “FAQ”).
  • September 24, 2019:  Workgroup members developed a draft screening level for 6:2 FTS; peer reviewed by the MPART Human Health Workgroup in March 2020. Document to be released by EGLE’s AQD for public comment in spring 2020.
  • September 25, 2019:  A workgroup member gave a presentation along with staff from EPA Region 5 to the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) on PFAS use in the chromium electroplating industry.

Workgroup Lead Name and Email:

Joy Taylor Morgan, EGLE AQD
TaylorJ1@Michigan.gov