09.06.18

Peters, Stabenow Call for EPA Public Meeting on PFAS in Michigan

Community Engagement Meeting on PFAS in Michigan Has Not Been Scheduled, Despite EPA’s Commitment

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold a per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) community engagement meeting in Michigan. Earlier this year, the EPA announced plans for a forum in Michigan on PFAS, but it has yet to schedule this forum.

“Given PFAS are a large class of over 3500 industrial chemicals, only a handful of which have received monitoring attention to date, we fully expect more Michiganders, and more Americans nationally, face PFAS contamination from a variety of sources and exposures,” wrote the Senators. “We ask that you help ensure the residents of Michigan have an opportunity to have direct communication with EPA experts by scheduling a public PFAS forum in state.”

Last month, Stabenow and Peters introduced two bipartisan bills to require nationwide testing for PFAS contamination and to hold federal facilities, including active and decommissioned military bases, accountable for addressing PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the country.

The full letter can be found below, or downloaded by clicking here.

Dear Acting Administrator Wheeler:

We write to ask your leadership on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to honor the agency’s commitment to hold a public per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) community engagement meeting in Michigan. 

During EPA’s PFAS National Leadership May Summit which our staff attended, senior EPA leadership announced the agency planned a community engagement forum in Michigan for July 2018, to follow the New Hampshire forum.  Yet to date there has been no forum scheduled for all of Region 5, one of the largest regions in the nation, spanning 6 large states and 35 Tribes. We applaud EPA’s willingness to hold community engagement meetings in other states and regions, and commend the agency for doing so. However, we respectfully note Michiganders would like the opportunity to be directly heard as well, and to have the opportunity presented by a public forum to provide input directly to inform EPA’s efforts to effectively respond to this public health crises.

Michigan has recently initiated testing for the presence of PFAS in public drinking water supplies, and as a result, 34 sources have been identified thus far that exceed EPA’s current lifetime health advisory levels. Given PFAS are a large class of over 3500 industrial chemicals, only a handful of which have received monitoring attention to date, we fully expect more Michiganders, and more Americans nationally, will face PFAS contamination from a variety of sources and exposures.  In this context, maintaining EPA’s capacity and leadership in state is even more important to us.  We ask that you help ensure the residents of Michigan have an opportunity to have direct communication with EPA experts by scheduling a public PFAS forum in state. 

If we can be of any assistance to the agency in convening a public forum in state, please don’t hesitate to let our offices know.

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