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Rep. Hornberger works to flush away growing threat to wastewater infrastructure
RELEASE|September 28, 2022

State Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Township) has introduced a plan to combat the volume of inappropriately flushed personal care and household wipes statewide by requiring manufacturers to label wipes sold in Michigan as “non-flushable.”

“This growing problem poses a serious threat to municipal wastewater infrastructure systems, household plumbing, and public health,” Hornberger said. “This common-sense solution is long overdue. It’s time to properly label packaging to mitigate the improper flushing of disposable wipes.”

Hornberger worked closely with Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller on the legislation, which mirrors legislation recently signed into law in Oregon, Illinois, California and Washington states.

“This is a nationwide problem, and Michigan has the opportunity to set an example for the many remaining states that have not yet implemented proper wipe labeling requirements,” Hornberger said. “I am thankful to Commissioner Miller for her dedication to this proposed reform and I urge my colleagues in the Legislature to support it.”

According to Commissioner Miller, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, an average of approximately 1,000 pounds of flushed wipes accumulated at the Clintondale Pump Station in Clinton Township each week. After COVID-19 stay-home orders, the average jumped to about 4,000 pounds a week.

“It’s a large and troubling increase,” Miller said. “Eventually it will cost municipalities hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with the havoc wreaked on municipal sewage systems and pump stations. I fully support this legislation and applaud Rep. Hornberger for introducing it.”

The plan, House Bill 6424, requires manufacturers to label disposable wipe packaging with the words “non-flushable” or “do not flush” and imposes a fine for failure to do so. The legislation now awaits committee referral.

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