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Michigan’s Response to PFAS takes the center stage at the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research’s May Public Policy Forum.

Five panelists with environmental expertise and research knowledge will speak at the IPPSR Forum on Wednesday, May 8 at 11:30 a.m. in the Mackinac Room, 5th floor of the Anderson House Office Building, 124 N Capitol Ave.

All IPPSR Public Policy Forums are free and open to the public.

As lunch is served at the Forums, reservations are requested. They can be made online.

PFAS, common shorthand for per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, are manmade substances. They are designed to be used in industrial applications to resist water, oil and heat and are used in consumer goods from nonstick pans to household textiles.

The chemicals became more widely known when they were first found in Michigan at 20 times the recommended levels in drinking water from communities near Kalamazoo in July 2018.

Residents were instructed not to drink the water, cook with it, or expose babies or pets to it while officials flushed the water system and retested its safety.

“PFAS has now been detected in more than 49 Michigan sites and is also problematic in other states,” said Arnold Weinfeld, interim IPPSR director. “Our Forum will review Michigan’s remediation and prevention efforts, potential impact on personal and environmental health and future research needs.”

May’s Public Policy Forum panelists are:

  • Lois Wolfson, senior specialist, MSU Extension and MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

  • Cheryl Murphy, associate professor, MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

  • Steve Sliver, executive director, MI PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), MI Dept. of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

  • Susan Masten, professor, MSU Civil and Environmental Engineering.

  • Josh Gunn, associate director of the MSU Community, Food & Environment Institute.

IPPSR is a unit of MSU’s College of Social Science and can be found online at It is the home of well-regarded programs including the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the Office for Survey Research, the State of the State Survey and the State of the State Podcast.

IPPSR’s Public Policy Forums are live tweeted @IPPSR #IPPSRForum. Each Forum is videotaped.

Videos, presentations and photos from past IPPSR Forums can be viewed at May’s Public Policy Forum closes the spring season. IPPSR Public Policy Forums will start again this coming fall.