Taking Action Against PFAS Contamination
The Great Lakes PFAS Action Network is taking strides to protect those impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) across the state of Michigan. PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals, commonly found in firefighting foams and other substances that pollute land and water, and endure for long periods of time.
The Great lakes PFAS Action Network is a coalition of community members impacted by PFAS contamination. On Tuesday they unveiled their PFAS Action Agenda, a set of policy priorities to address PFAS in Michigan and protect impacted people and communities across the state.
“PFAS impacts people, communities, waterways and wildlife across our entire state. It's a growing crisis that requires forward-thinking action, and there are concrete steps that state policymakers can take now in order to address it.” said Tony Spaniola, co-chair of the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network. “As leaders on the front lines of this crisis, we live and experience it like no one else. We know that it will continue to grow and that we need to get out in front of it with urgency and resolve. We came to Lansing today to send that message.”
PFAS chemicals have been detected in the drinking water of nearly two million Michiganders and in every one of the Great Lakes. Another exposure pathway includes bio-solid-based fertilizers which have been found to contain PFAS. Those fertilizers have been used on crops, potentially entering the food system.
While legislation has shifted its attention to COVID-19 related support, the Action Network points out that we shouldn't lose sight of PFAS related issues. Also flying under the radar is a lack of PFAS contamination accountability. In many cases, when a polluter is found to have caused contamination and harm to people and communities, stronger enforcement mechanisms are needed to ensure they pay for the cleanup.