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Decision on PFAs rules expected by Environmental Rules Review Committee this week

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As the state’s Environmental Rules Review Committee reviews proposed rules for PFAs, members say the process seems fair.

When the panel came into existence under then-Governor Snyder environmental groups worried it would give disproportionate power to industry groups - essentially letting them regulate themselves.

Helen Taylor is with the Nature Conservancy in Michigan and serves on the ERRC. She said that hasn’t happened and she’s glad there is a diverse set of groups reviewing the state’s rules.

“I think people have concerns externally that it might slow down the process I think the intent is not to do that so I hope we keep this moving forward,” she said.

David Maness serves on the board as a representative of the state’s oil and gas industry. He said so far he’s been happy with the group’s deliberations.

“Everybody from all sides gets a chance to look at the rule look at the benefits look at the impacts and try to make sure it all gets worked out,” he said. “From that standpoint it seems like it is working fine.”

Dave Fielder is with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, which oversees the committee. He said the group can suggest changes to the rules and delay their implementation.

“They can delay it but we don’t have to agree with whatever changes they may be proposing,” he said.

At most, Fiedler said, the committee could delay rules from going into effect for 270 days.

The  PFAS rules being reviewed by the committee, if enacted, would be some of the strictest in the country.

Fiedler said he doesn’t expect the committee will delay a decision long enough to interfere with the state’s goal of enacting the rules by April of 2020.

A vote is expected on Thursday.