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AG Dana Nessel calls on EPA to expand its rule regarding the import of items containing PFAs


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is among 18 state Attorneys General calling on the EPA to strengthen reporting requirements for imports containing PFAS chemicals.

At issue, is a proposed EPA rule that requires any imports of materials containing a surface-coating of PFAs to first receive EPA approval.

A previous version of the rule would have required a review of materials containing any PFAs.

PFAs are a family of chemicals that have been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer, and are found in things like cookware.

Ryan Jarvi is a spokesperson for the AG’s office. He said there should be a review, not just of imports, but of any products containing PFAs before they’re allowed on the market.

“Really broader review and reporting requirements would let the EPA determine whether those products pose a danger to the health of humans or the environment or if it’s ok to be introduced to the market.”

In her letter, the Attorney General noted that it is important to review and regulate any items containing PFAs because they would eventually need to be disposed of - and would likely end up in a landfill. Landfills are “a common source of PFAs contamination throughout the country,” she wrote.

The EPA maintains that it only needs to review imports of materials containing PFAs because there is no domestic manufacture of PFAs-containing materials. The Attorney General argued that because there are no formal bans on the manufacture of materials containing long-chain PFAs manufacturers could resume producing PFAs at any time, necessitating including them in a review process. 

Christy McGillivray is with the Michigan Sierra Club. She said the club strongly supports the Attorney General’s efforts to tamp down on products containing PFAS.

“The idea that we’re continuing to pump them into the environment when there are already over 1-million people in Michigan that don’t have safe drinking water because of PFAs is unacceptable.”

The EPA’s proposed rule would cover only a subset of PFAS. Nessel called on the EPA to include all potentially toxic chemicals in the PFAS family.