Michigan Officials Negotiate PFAS Consent Decree in ‘Landmark’ Case

The state of Michigan continues to be active in its multi-pronged efforts regarding monitoring and regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Inc. has entered into a consent decree with the state to address PFAS contamination, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), at its former plastic compounding facility in Brighton, Michigan. 

Under the consent decree, Asahi Kasei has agreed to:

  • Conduct a Remedial Investigation (RI) of PFAS releases into the environment in a defined “Study Area,” including conduct a water well survey, and investigate soil, groundwater and the groundwater-surface water interface.
  • Based on the results of the RI, conduct a Feasibility Study (FS) of potential remedial actions necessary to address Contaminants of Concern (i.e., PFOA and PFOS located in the study area) exceeding applicable cleanup criteria under Part 201, Environmental Remediation, of the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA).
  • Upon receiving approval from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) of the actions it proposes based on the FS, submit a Remedial Action Response Activity Plan (activity plan) and, upon EGLE’s approval of this activity plan, conduct the remedial action activities and thereafter submit to EGLE for approval an achievement report documenting the performance objectives of the consent decree have been achieved and the cleanup criteria have been satisfied.
  • Pay the state’s litigation costs, past response activity costs and future response activity costs, as well as the plaintiffs’ counsel reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Asahi Kasei has agreed to perform the response activities described above but has not admitted liability. The consent decree is a compromise of disputed claims, is for settlement purposes only and is not an admission of any factual allegations or legal conclusions.

The state announced this case as a landmark PFAS settlement.  It also is pursuing multiple PFAS cases in several other venues.

The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), established in 2017, continues to work to address PFAS contamination in Michigan, including utilizing a “multi-agency proactive approach for coordinating state resources.”  MPART’s 2022 update can be found by clicking here

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