As the ongoing issue of PFAS contamination in the Huron River continues to draw many questions with few answers, a meeting later this week will seek to change that.

The community-focused discussion on the emerging threat of PFAS to the Huron River is being presented by the Huron River Watershed Council, the Village of Milford, Milford Township and the City of Wixom. It will be held Thursday, October 4th in the Milford Civic Center on Atlantic Street. Watershed Council staff will provide some introductory remarks followed by a time for audience questions and answers. Officials say the discussion will conclude with information on what individuals can do to help protect and restore the watershed.

PFAS are a contamination threat that encompasses a class of chemical compounds used for decades in manufacturing and linked to cancer. But their presence in the Huron River has prompted several public warnings to avoid eating fish in the river and ingesting any foam from its waters.

On September 20th, representatives of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that a single industrial wastewater customer in Wixom, identified as Adept Plating and Plastics, now operating as Tribar Manufacturing, is the only identified “enforceable” source of the contamination, with its wastewater levels of PFOS, a member of the PFAS family, more than 450 times what the state allows in surface waters and 78 times the lifetime health advisory for human consumption. The company, which is based in Howell, now has until October 19th to inform the City of Wixom how the contamination occurred and a detailed work plan on how it will be prevented.

However, a group of Democratic lawmakers from the Ann Arbor area, including State Representative Yousef Rabhi and State Senator Rebekah Warren, called on the MDEQ last week (see document below) to shut off Tribar’s discharges until the issue is completely resolved. Meanwhile, Matt Bolang, Livingston County’s Director of Environmental Health, will make another report on the PFAS issue to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners at their meeting tonight, which starts at 7:30pm. (JK)