By Mike Kruzman /

State studies show an encouraging drop in PFAS levels along the Huron River.

Though it’s still not safe to eat the fish, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) said last week that ongoing monitoring of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance levels in the Huron River are on the decline.

PFAS are a group of “forever chemicals” that can be potentially harmful and have been used in thousands of applications globally including firefighting foam, food packaging and many other consumer products over the past few decades.

In 2018 the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) began working with local wastewater treatment plant operators and their industrial customers to reduce contamination entering the Huron River watershed. A recent report shows that levels downstream of Norton Creek in southwest Oakland County, which is thought to be a major source of the Huron River’s PFAS levels, have declined 99.8% over the past 2.5 years.

EGLE has also collected and analyzed fish from 21 water bodies throughout the watershed, including Kent Lake, Base Line Lake, and Silver Lake in the Pinckney/Dexter Township-area. The fish have, and are, being sent to the state health department where officials review the fillet results to determine when and if existing “do not eat” advisories can be relaxed.

Strategic Communications Advisor Scott Dean told WHMI surface water was sampled in several locations in Livingston County, including the aforementioned Kent Lake and tributaries to Portage Lake where they have received foam complaints. All results were low. The results from the sampling can be found in the June-August 2020 Surface Water PFAS Sampling update.

A link to that can be found within EGLE’s full release which is at the link below.