Read the full article by Garret Ellison (MLive)

“LANSING, MI — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is attempting to use national defense policy legislation passed two years ago to force the U.S. Department of Defense into compliance with tough state pollution cleanup laws in Michigan.

In a March 31 letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Whitmer invoked a section of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could force the Pentagon to meet the state’s new low PFAS standards while conducting cleanup at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda and other military contamination sites.

The provision, added to the bill by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., allows a state governor to request a new or amended cooperative agreement that would govern remediation at Department of Defense sites and require the military to comply with state pollution laws if those are more stringent.

The U.S. Air Force has long refused to comply with strict Michigan laws governing PFAS cleanup at Wurtsmith, which has touched off regulatory disputes and angered local activists.

The latest example occurred last week, when the Air Force said it plans to ignore state PFAS discharge rules while expanding a groundwater treatment system in Oscoda.

In the letter, Whitmer asked for the military’s upfront ‘commitment’ to adhere to Michigan laws severely restricting how much PFAS contamination is allowed to remain in groundwater or treatment discharge and bake those thresholds into cleanup decision documents…”