Peters Statement on High PFAS Contamination Levels in Grand Traverse County

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today released the following statement regarding findings of elevated levels of PFAS contaminants in wells in Grand Traverse County:

“I am very alarmed at reports of elevated PFAS levels in wells in Grand Traverse County. We’ve seen in communities across Michigan how PFAS contamination and exposure can have serious human health and environmental impacts. That’s why we must do everything we can to mitigate exposure and remediate these harmful chemicals.

“I stand ready to help the State of Michigan and local authorities with any federal assistance that may be necessary – especially as cash-strapped communities continue to battle the ongoing pandemic. I’m going to continue working to ensure we address PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the country – from establishing a federal drinking water standard to securing the resources needed to clean-up communities affected.”

Peters has made addressing PFAS contamination in Michigan a top priority in the Senate. Peters previously passed a provision that was signed into law urging the Department of Defense to phase out its use of PFAS-laden firefighting foams. Peters also supported or led provisions in the 2019 national defense bill banning the Department of Defense from purchasing firefighting foams containing PFAS. The bill also immediately prohibited the use of firefighting foams containing PFAS in military training exercises, and enhanced state cooperation with the Department of Defense regarding clean-up due to PFAS contamination stemming from military-related activities.

In September 2018, he helped convene the first hearing on PFAS in the Senate, assessing the federal response to contamination and remediation. He then convened a field summit in Grand Rapids in November 2018 to shine a light on how the local, state and federal governments are coordinating their response to PFAS.

Peters also passed his provision into law allowing airports to phase out the use of firefighting foams that contain PFAS. Before this provision, airports were required to adhere to an FAA standard that was based on a Department of Defense rule that the military is actively transitioning away from.