LANSING – Draft rules for state drinking water standards are expected to be filed ahead of the October 1 timeline to keep on track with having rules put into effect as early as April 2020, members of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team were told Friday.

The draft rules will be submitted in the coming days and go through the rulemaking process, a Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy official told the board.

Once adopted, these rules would establish a maximum contaminant level – referred to as MCLs under the Safe Water Drinking Act – with which water suppliers would have to comply.

EGLE officials said about 2,700 larger suppliers in the state would be affected by the rules. Sampling and reporting requirements would be part of the rules, as would calculations for being compliant. The reporting process for not achieving compliance would also be within the rules.

Approved as part of the process Friday was a summary of conclusions and input on health-based values for PFAS in drinking water.

Stakeholders including 3M and environmental groups had provided input during meetings over the summer.

Kory Groetsch with the Department of Health and Human Services said the observations and recommendations provided by stakeholders during the summer meetings were not groundbreaking nor were they anything that needed to be used at this time to amend the health-based values. However, he and others during the meeting said the items provided by stakeholders can always be revisited at a later date or if more science backs various observations.

“(This) is simply reaffirming that the science hasn’t changed since June 27,” Groetsch said.

MPART chair Steve Sliver agreed with the content of the health-based values as recommended, calling it “a foundation for moving forward.”

These recommendations for acceptable levels of chemical in residential drinking water were presented to the board at its June 27 meeting.

The amounts recommended by MPART’s Science Advisory Workgroup as outlined in June included: PFAS at 16 parts per trillion, PFOA at 8-ppt, PFNA at 6-ppt, PFHxS at 51-ppt, PFBS at 420-ppt, PFHxA at 400,000-ppt and Gen X at 370-ppt.

Once submitted, the draft rules will be discussed by various groups of lawmakers, utility companies, industries, environmental groups and others until final rules are adopted on or before a spring deadline.

MPART member and EGLE Director Liesl Clark praised the work being done by the group and stakeholders so far and said the pace needs to be maintained.

“We’ve got to keep our foot on the accelerator,” Clark said, adding the groundwork laid so far has been critical to tackling the growing threat of PFAS.

Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) in a statement said she was pleased the state will submit the draft rule by the October 1 deadline.

“Our residents are counting on state government to set a strong limit that protects our families, kids and communities from these toxic chemicals in their drinking water. This is a critical step in our state’s response to addressing PFAS contamination,” Brinks said.

This story was provided by Gongwer News Service.