Michigan State Police complex believed to be source of stormwater PFAS contamination

PFAS traced to state police training facility
Michigan State Police complex believed to be source of stormwater PFAS contamination
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT
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WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - The state is trying to figure out how potentially harmful chemicals are ending up in Delta Township’s water.

Environmentalists believe the contamination is coming from the state secondary complex in Windsor Township.

Background: PFAS found at Delta Township MSP training facility, drinking water safe

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy traced back to the Michigan State Police training facility, it is trying to figure out if it is still a problem.

“We’ve sealed it from the inside to prevent any further contamination,” said Caleb Buhs, Department of Technology, Management and Budget spokesman.

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) -- which are chemicals that don’t break down and can be harmful to people and wildlife -- were first found at Delta Township’s wastewater treatment plant in December. The chemicals weren’t found in any drinking water.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) manages state-owned properties and is now testing soil.

“To make sure we find out exactly where this is coming from,” said Buhs.

Buhs said he doesn’t believe the state isn’t responsible for the contamination.

“There is no activity occurring right now on this site that would contribute to the contamination. This was probably something that was done in the past. It’s just a matter of how far in the past, we don’t know yet,” said Buhs.

This means training, like for hazmat situations and driving, is still going on while the state figures out where the chemicals are so the state can fix it.

“We can return to opening the stormwater pipe and get back to the infrastructure set up the way it was meant to work,” said Buhs.

The state is pumping the water from the drains around the training facility until they are able to remove the chemicals from the property. There’s no timeline for the state to clean up the property. The state said it wants to properly remove all the chemicals as quickly as possible.

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