LANSING, Mich. — Today, Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), with support from Attorney General Dana Nessel, introduced a two-bill package to help victims of PFAS contamination seek justice and to better hold corporate polluters accountable for leaking dangerous chemicals into the environment.
Senate Bill 1122 would allow the State of Michigan to seek damages, on behalf of the public, for emerging contaminants at sites where work is already underway removing other, regulated substances. Even years after remediation at contaminated sites, Michigan continues to be plagued by new and previously unknown threats. This bill ensures the state could seek damages within six years from the start of onsite remedial action to restore or replace public resources damaged by emerging contaminants.
“Now that we’ve begun to learn the truth about these ‘forever chemicals’ and have responded with stronger drinking water standards, it’s important that we also give Michiganders impacted by this pollution a fighting chance at holding corporations accountable,” Sen. Brinks said. “Taxpayers shouldn’t continue to foot the bill for the cleanup and disposal of dangerous chemicals knowingly used by companies. Implementing a fair discovery rule is the least we can do to help those affected by PFAS seek justice in court, and to honor Michigan’s natural and monetary resources.”
The other bill, Senate Bill 1123, would create a discovery rule with a time limit for bringing claims for those impacted by corporate polluters. The new statute of limitations would start when the claimant knew, or should have known, that the claim accrued, allowing a fairer timeframe for claimants of PFAS lawsuits to seek justice.
“Sen. Brinks has been fighting PFAS contamination for many years, and I am grateful to stand with her now as we call on our Legislature to act in the best interests of Michiganders,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “Lawmakers should support these commonsense measures to ensure our state has the tools to more effectively hold accountable those who have jeopardized our environment, and so that Michiganders making claims against these polluters have the means to do so through a fair process. Protecting our state’s natural resources and its residents from the harms caused by these forever chemicals is not a question that we need to debate — it is our duty as public servants.”
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