Michigan, along with a growing list of states, are dealing with the emerging contaminants perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Gov. Rick Snyder signed Executive Directive 2017-4 Monday, Nov. 13, to establish the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART).
MPART is designed to ensure "comprehensive, cohesive and timely response" to the concerns of PFAS.
For more than 50 years, PFAS chemicals were used in industrial applications and military bases. They were commonly used in firefighting foams, cleaning products, household cookware and carpets and food packaging, such as fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags.
PFAS were found in Scotchgard that Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide used to make waterproof shoes. Waste from Wolverine was dumped in Plainfield Township and is now the blame for contaminating wells throughout the area.
The task force will be lead by former Michigan Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Issacs, who was previously a critical care nurse, and Dr. David Savitz, a professor of epidemiology at Brown University. Savitz will be the academic consultant.
Other members from the team will come from Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality; Health and Human Services; Military and Veterans Affairs; and Agricultural and Rural Development.
For more information about PFAS contamination and the efforts underway to address it in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse.
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