Rep. Sue Allor called upon Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reauthorize the Michigan PFAS Action Response TEAM (MPART). This interagency response team has been on the frontlines of managing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in public drinking water across Michigan and has helped affected communities respond to contamination.
“I write today to strongly encourage you to reauthorize the Michigan PFAS Action Response TEAM (MPART), or similarly-organized expert team,” Allor wrote. “PFAS contamination is an evolving and nationwide water quality issue resulting from decades of widespread use of these chemicals in manufacturing, certain types of firefighting foam and consumer products.”
Allor said that while she can appreciate the number of transition tasks that occur during the changing of an administration, she wants to be sure that the focus on PFAS contamination remains a priority.
“PFAS contamination in and around the Wurtsmith Air Force Base continues to affect our drinking water, environment and wildlife in Iosco County,” Allor said. “This issue is a matter of good statewide public policy and is very close to my heart.”
In her letter, Allor cited the key accomplishments of the interagency task force and pointed to the continued need for this structure.
“When the previous administration established MPART in 2017, Michigan became a leader in tracking and managing PFAS contamination and controlling public exposure to health hazards. It is crucial that this work is allowed to continue,” Allor’s letter stated.
Key accomplishments of MPART include:
- Testing 100 percent of all Michigan’s public drinking water sources.
- Testing drinking water at all schools and day care facilities with their own well water sources.
- Identification of and remediation activities at 34 sites across Michigan.
- Coordination of bottled water supply and response support to affected communities.
- Completed testing of fish and game in affected areas.
- Collaboration with federal partners and pursuing cleanup of federal Department of Defense sites.
“While these accomplishments represent significant progress, there is still much work to be done. Many unanswered questions about this large class of chemicals remain,” Allor wrote. “To best protect all Michigan residents we must continue to seek sound, science-based answers to key questions related to public health, environmental response and regulation.”
Allor’s letter was sent to Whitmer on January 25. Full text of the letter may be found here.