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AG Nessel Joins Multistate Letter Urging Continued Resources to Combat PFAS Pollution

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a multistate coalition urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use current-year funding to fully support initiatives identified in EPA’s “PFAS Roadmap,” including several regulatory and research projects that will help states like Michigan reduce harmful PFAS exposures. 

Under the Biden Administration, the EPA has increased its attention to addressing the toxic legacy of  per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS, including a multi-pronged set of commitments to research, regulatory standards, and rulemakings announced in November 2021 known as the “PFAS Roadmap.”  

While Michigan and some other states have already implemented some of the PFAS Roadmap priorities – such as setting and enforcing PFAS limits for drinking water and groundwater – federal action on research and national standards is still helpful in supporting state-level efforts.  

Specifically, the letter acknowledges, “While we applaud EPA’s FY 2023 budget request of $57 million in increased funding to address PFAS, we believe that it is essential that the agency direct its existing FY 2022 funding to meet the commitments and deadlines outlined in its PFAS Strategic Roadmap... EPA must leverage the full range of its statutory authorities to confront the human health and ecological risks of PFAS. EPA’s PFAS Roadmap represents a critical step forward in safeguarding communities from PFAS contamination. However, the success of each of the actions described in the PFAS Roadmap depends on full funding. We urge EPA to ensure that its spend plan for allocating its FY 2022 funding fully meets the commitments and deadlines in its PFAS Roadmap.” 

“In order to properly address the risks posed by PFAS, we must prioritize funding for efforts to further work on PFAS destruction technology as well as development of  regulatory limits to bar unacceptable and harmful levels of PFAS being discharged into our environment,” Nessel said. “My office continues to focus on holding PFAS manufacturers and users accountable and keeping PFAS out of our land and water, and I am proud to join my colleagues in asking for additional resources from our federal partners to assist in these endeavors.” 

Nessel is one of the first attorneys general to bring legal action against 3M, DuPont and other manufacturers of PFAS. Since filing, the PFAS manufacturer defendants moved the cases  to the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) on PFAS that is ongoing in federal court in South Carolina.  

The Department has argued the cases are focused on Michigan and are better heard and resolved in Michigan. Efforts to bring the suits back to Michigan courts remain ongoing. 

Tomorrow marks another hearing for one of the cases, which remains separate from the others moved to the MDL. Nessel v. Asahi Plastics North America is pending in Livingston County Circuit Court.  

The Department expects the defendant to ask for another postponement in the case, which is currently set for trial in September 2022. The litigation has now been pending for two years and is slated to  be the first PFAS site trial in the state.