Chemical contamination sparks Michigan government officials to start legal proceedings against 3M

By Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

DETROIT - Gov. Rick Snyder asked state Attorney General Bill Schuette Friday to begin legal proceedings against the Minnesotan manufacturer 3M.

RELATED: Michigan scrambles to address chemical contaminants in water

Michigan’s state government and outside experts brought in by the state found the 3M products Scotchgard, AFFF and AR-AFFF firefighting foam to be the determining contributor to the presence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, particularly perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, in the environment, and have been mostly identified at current and former military installations.

"Michigan has made extensive progress in identifying sites that have been contaminated by PFAS, raising awareness of this national public health threat and working to eradicate the products that caused the contamination," Snyder said. "Because of the scale and the scope of this problem and the associated expenses, it is necessary to pursue legal action against those who continued to produce and market these products, even once they were identified as the cause of this environmental contaminant.”

The state of Michigan promulgated rules setting limits in groundwater and surface water for PFAS in 2011, 2014 and 2018. Last year, Gov. Snyder also created the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, placing Michigan as the national leader in addressing this emerging public health threat.

Michigan agencies continue to lead extensive testing efforts in communities across the state, conducting meetings and workshops for residents and working on further awareness efforts. The presence of this ongoing public health threat requires resources from the federal government as well, in addition to compensation from the company that manufactures the products that resulted in the PFAS contamination. 

To help find answers about PFAS testing, identified contaminated sites and community toolkits, visit the PFAS Action Response Team's official website here.

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