Michigan collects 30K gallons of 'forever chemical’ liquids

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 17:46:02-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 30,000 gallons (113,562 liters) of liquids containing so-called “forever chemicals” have been collected under a Michigan disposal program, officials said.

The amount, which was collected in less than a year, contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, said Steve Sliver, executive director of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team.

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they persist indefinitely in the environment without breaking down.

Those chemicals have increasingly turned up in public water supplies and private wells around the country. They are used in firefighting foam, nonstick pots and pans, water-repellent clothing and many other household and personal items.

Surplus PFAS-containing aqueous film forming foam had been used by fire departments and commercial airports.

Under Michigan’s $1.4 million aqueous film forming foam plan, the substances are picked up and shipped to a facility in Idaho where they will be solidified and placed in a licensed hazardous waste landfill.