“WASHINGTON, DC — Heidi Grether had a message for the room filled with state and local officials from across the United States who gathered at the Environmental Protection Agency this week to talk drinking water contamination.

You may not have found per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in your water yet. That doesn’t mean the pollutants aren’t there.

‘Those chickens will come home to roost,’ said Grether, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). ‘The reason we know so much is we are actively and aggressively looking.’

Grether was at EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, May 22 to not just attend the EPA’s national summit on PFAS contamination, but speak on a panel as part of the daylong conference on so-called “forever chemicals” polluting global water supplies…

Grether, DEQ waste management division director Steve Sliver, and Carol Isaacs, director of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) were at the summit. The trio are spending the week bending as many ears in Washington as they can about the state’s wish to see consistent national standards for PFAS cleanup and exposure.

During an exchange with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe, Grether called back to her days representing industry and expressed some ‘philosophical concern’ about individual states setting PFAS exposure standards in the absence of enforceable EPA numbers.

Michigan convened a science panel to review studies on PFAS exposure and consider whether the state should develop its own drinking water standards, but has largely resisted calls to rely on numbers other than EPA’s health advisory level…

DEQ wants to see national cleanup rules, in part, because Michigan is having difficulty getting the Pentagon to expand its PFAS cleanup at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, where plumes are contaminating drinking water and creating toxic foam on Van Etten Lake — a highly visible reminder of an underground issue.”

Read the full article by Garret Ellison