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Environment & Climate Change

Wixom company sets new record for PFAS contamination of surface water

Dwight Burdette
City offices in Wixom, MI.

A company in Wixom has set a new record for PFAS, and it's not the kind of record to be proud of. 

A state test found 5,500 parts per trillion of PFAS in Norton Creek in Oakland County -- more than 450 times what's allowed in surface water. 

The chemicals have been traced to Tribar Manufacturing, which makes chrome-plated car parts. 

Laura Rubin is head of the Huron River Watershed Council. She says PFAS chemicals are ubiquitous in Michigan.

"Paper manufacturers, metal finishers, electroplaters, tanneries," she ticks off a short list, "and Michigan has a lot of manufacturers."

And now that Michigan is looking for the industrial chemicals, it's finding them everywhere. The compounds have been linked to health problems.  

Tribar is installing a filtration system with the aim of dramatically lowering its PFAS discharges. The state standard for surface water is 12 parts per trillion.

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