Environmental groups say bill could block DEQ from using latest science

Dec 6, 2018

Environmental groups are raising the alarm about a bill in the state legislature they say could stop the Department of Environmental Quality from using the latest science in its environmental regulations.

The bill was introduced in the Senate last week and has already made it to a state house committee.

Dave Dempsey is with the environmental group, For the Love of Water. He said the bill would tie the DEQ’s environmental cleanup standards to the federal EPA.

“Some of the pollutants in the EPA database have not been updated in 15 or 20 years so we’re dealing with yesterday's standards for today's chemical contamination threats.”

US Congressman Dan Kildee took note of the bill, saying it could impact how the state is able to react to perfluoroalkyl substances or PFAs. PFAs are chemical contaminants that have been found across the state and are linked to cancer and other health problems. He said if new research shows a tighter health standard is needed for PFAs but the EPA doesn’t acknowledge that…

“This legislation would prevent the state from protecting its own citizens by initiating standards based on real science. It’s just beyond comprehension.”

Officials with the DEQ say they are in conversations with the bill’s authors in order to create legislation that protects public health and the environment.

The bill sponsor did not respond to our request for comment.