News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

State expands standards for PFAS in surface waters

PFAS-containing foam washes up on shore in Van Etten Lake in Oscoda.
Teresa Homsi
PFAS-containing foam washes up on shore in Van Etten Lake in Oscoda.

The state announced it will be expanding regulations on two toxic "forever chemicals" in Michigan lakes, rivers, and streams.

Before the new regulation, only three PFAS chemicals had standards that limit the acceptable contaminant levels in lakes, rivers and streams.

Now, two more are joining the list: PFNA and PFHxS.

The new value is 30 ng/L (or parts per trillion) for PFNA and 210 for PFHxS. For surface waters that serve as a drinking water source, PFNA has a limit of 19 ng/L, and PFHxS is set at 59 ng/L.

The state said the regulations on these chemicals are "conservative" or highly protective of human health. The values also give guidelines on the quality of treated water discharged from wastewater plants and various industries.

Standards for drinking water are more strict and measured on a separate scale.

The state said it's still updating the standards for the maximum amount of PFAS that can be in a waterbody without affecting aquatic wildlife.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corps Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She covers rural environmental issues, focused on contamination, conservation, and climate change.
Related Content