Michigan PFAS panel seeks workgroup members

    The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) is looking for members of the public to join a new Citizen Advisory Workgroup (CAW) to advise the state.

    PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are found in a variety of household items and are known as “forever chemicals.” PFAS contamination poses risks to drinking water and public health across Michigan and the country.

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer establish MPART via a February executive order.

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    “Michiganders must be a part of the conversation when it comes to combating PFAS. I’m looking forward to seeing the joint work towards real solutions between MPART and the public. All state government processes should be accessible and transparent, especially when it comes to public health and the environment,” Whitmer said in a statement.

    In addition to representing the concerns of communities negatively impacted by PFAS and keeping the public informed, the CAW also will provide input and advice to MPART as it continues its mission of identify and mitigating PFAS contamination and protecting the public from exposure risks.

    “A critical element of protecting public health is keeping the public informed,” MPART Executive Director Steve Sliver said. “We look forward to hearing from members of the public who want help their fellow Michiganders stay informed, educated and empowered in our state’s ongoing response to PFAS contamination in their communities.”

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    The workgroup’s draft charter was developed with input from three focus groups sessions with members of the public directly impacted by PFAS contamination in their communities.  The draft charter and registration form for CAW membership consideration are available here.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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