NEMWI Hosts Webinar on PFAS in the Great Lakes

The Northeast-Midwest Institute (NEMWI) hosted another installment of its Great Lakes Primer and Orientation Program focused on PFAS in the Great Lakes region last week. The Great Lakes Primer and Orientation Program is aimed at providing Congressional staff with critical information on the issues that are most impactful to the Great Lakes. Prior sessions included primers on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), aquatic invasive species, climate change and coastal resiliency, and harmful algal blooms (HABs).

PFAS, which includes thousands of chemicals that are used for their nonstick, stain-repellent, waterproofing, and fire-retardant purposes, are used in a staggering array of consumer products and commercial applications, and are especially prevalent in the Great Lakes region due to decades of industrial activities. Often referred to as “forever chemicals,” PFAS have been linked to numerous medical conditions, including cancer, weakened immune systems, and reproductive problems, because of its widespread use, and they can be found in almost every aspect of American life.

NEMWI’s webinar focused on the governmental and nongovernmental responses to PFAS in the Great Lakes region, and actions that need to be taken to better protect the Great Lakes from PFAS contaminations. Topics included the recent release of EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, the passage of the PFAS Action Act of 2021 by the U.S. House of Representatives, and the recent formation of the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network (GLPAN). Panelists included:

  • Matt Klasen – PFAS Council Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Jennifer Hill – Associate Director, Great Lakes Regional Center, National Wildlife Federation.
  • Erica Bloom – Toxics Campaign Director, Ecology Center.
  • Jordan Dickinson – Legislative Director, Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-05) (Co-chair of Congressional PFAS Task Force).

To watch a recording of webinar, please click here.