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Gov Snyder directs state agencies to assist Parchment

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder this evening directed the state departments of Environmental Quality, Health and Human Services, and State Police, as well as the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), to assist the communities of Parchment and Cooper Township after water tests showed a level of PFAS and PFOA in the municipal water system that exceeds the state’s action standards. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated to assist local emergency operations as needed. 

The nationally emerging contaminant was discovered in the Parchment Municipal Water System after Gov. Snyder directed the DEQ to start testing all municipal water systems in Michigan regardless of size. 

“Our first priority is the health of residents in the Parchment and Cooper Township area and to ensure they have access to safe drinking water, a plan for which is already being executed by local agencies with state assistance,” Snyder said. “Our next step is to work as a team to address the source of this contamination and restore the municipal water system. As soon as the tests results were reported, the state and local agencies tasked with protecting public health and our environment began coordinating a response and should be commended for how quickly and how well they worked together on this.”

Snyder had already directed MPART to work with other states and the federal government to raise the issue of the national threat from PFAS and the need for all states to start testing local water systems. The results in Parchment confirmed the need for that directive. 

“This is a nationally emerging contaminant that has been used in manufacturing, firefighting foam and on many household products for decades — which is why it now is a nationally emerging threat,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “Michigan is leading the nation in setting standards and is the only state testing all local water systems in an effort to protect the public’s health. The federal government and every other state need to join us in this effort to ensure safe water is available nationwide.”