PFOS found near Deerfield Filtration Plant intake, but not in treated public drinking water

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) last night notified state legislators and local officials it has found evidence of possible PFOS contamination in surface water at the intake of the Deerfield Filtration Plant. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acids, or PFOS, can lead to adverse human health effects.

Laboratory results received on August 30 detected PFOS in a sample collected from EGLE’s monthly PFAS testing of the surface water at the intake to the Deerfield Filtration Plant on July 29. However, testing of the finished drinking water coming out of the filtration system on July 29 showed no detections for PFOS. There is no data at this time to suggest finished drinking water is being impacted, but further testing will continue on the river upstream and downstream of the Deerfield filtration plant. EGLE will also retest finished drinking water in Deerfield, Adrian, Blissfield, Frenchtown and Monroe. These public water systems were tested last year by EGLE as part of its state-wide sampling effort and none of them showed significant PFAS contamination.  EGLE continues to test all public water systems, like Deerfield, with surface water intakes on a monthly basis.

Rep. Bronna Kahle and Sen. Dale W. Zorn will deliver more information to the public as soon as they receive it.

“People in this community have long had concerns about our local water quality, and we deserve peace of mind about what’s happening at this site,” said Kahle of Adrian. “I am going to continue working hard every day to get answers from the state about what happened, seek firm plans about what the experts plan to do next, and to keep a close eye on the cleanup efforts to make sure we all get access to the clean natural resources we need and deserve.”

“Deerfield is fortunate to have a municipal water filtration system that removes such chemicals,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “However, municipal water plants upstream and downstream of the River Raisin should have an aggressive investigation to locate the cause. I will continue to monitor EGLE with daily briefings.”

In 2017, the state created the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), which is leading state efforts on finding and managing the presence of these chemicals in local water systems and our response to their discovery. More information, including test results, data on contaminated sites around the state and information on its health impacts can be found on their website: www.Michigan.gov/PFASresponse.

In June, Rep. Kahle led a bipartisan group of legislators introducing new reforms to Michigan’s PFAS/PFOS testing and response system. The groundwater quality bill package includes her bill (HB 4745) to deliver critical resources to the MPART effort and fund geological surveys that can find contamination before it enters municipal water systems.

“PFAS and PFOS contamination is still an emerging issue around Michigan, and state officials are still learning all they can,” said Kahle. “We have made progress in the last couple of years funding research surveys and advanced testing, and I am glad to see officials were able to find this contamination before it got into our drinking water. But today is a reminder there is no such thing as good enough. We can and will do more to find PFAS and PFOS in our area and protect local residents from these harmful chemicals.”

Local residents who are concerned about the findings, have questions about the process going forward or would like to share their concerns may contact Rep. Kahle at 517-373-1706 or by email at BronnaKahle@House.MI.gov or Sen. Zorn at 517-373-3543 or by email at SenDZorn@Senate.Michigan.gov. Residents can also contact the state department working on this issue directly by calling 800-662-9278 or by email at EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov.

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