Sierra Club wants legal action on PFAS Contamination

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Today, Sierra Club called on Attorney General Bill Schuette to respond to a July request from Gov. Snyder in immediately filing a lawsuit on behalf of the state against the 3M company in connection with dangerous widespread chemical contamination in Michigan from polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

“So far, 16 Michigan counties have identified contaminated sites and testing is still happening,” said David Holtz, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Conservation Chair. “This crisis must be a top priority for our state government to tackle. It’s unacceptable that the state is still stuck asking for contamination information from these companies on a voluntary basis.”

“Attorney General Schuette has the power and must take legal action to compel 3M to hand contamination information over to the state,” Holtz said. “The time to act was yesterday”

Background

On July 13, 2018, Gov. Snyder wrote AG Schuette requesting that he “immediately initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the State of Michigan” against 3M and others responsible for the PFAS contamination. Snyder cited numerous 3M products containing PFAS and PFOS– both which pose health risks.

So far, remediation activities will be required at 33 locations in the state and the state is investigating other potential contaminated sites. On Sept. 25, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director wrote the CEO of 3M asking for detailed information on various 3M products containing PFAS, including any Michigan locations where the company used to store or dispose of the chemicals.

“While Schuette has filed suit against another company, Wolverine Worldwide, over PFAS contamination, his failure to take action against 3M is weakening the state’s ability to respond to the crisis,” said Holtz. “Bill Schuette should be taking more urgent action. Right now, he’s not taking the effective steps that our state so critically needs.”

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