Michigan targets $23.2M to fight chemical contamination

Lansing – Michigan environmental and health agencies would receive $23.2 million in new state funding to test, assess and develop cleanup plans for chemical contamination sites under a supplemental spending bill speeding to Gov.
On the last planned day of voting in 2017, the Michigan Senate and House on Wednesday approved a $52.85 million appropriations plan.
It would send $14.8 million to the state Department of Environmental Quality and $8.4 million to the Department of Health and Human Services to mitigate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS.
“What we’re finding out is that high concentration and high exposure levels has the potential to be a public health” issue, she said.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services would receive funding for lab analysis, local public heath efforts and to employ eight full-time environmental health and toxicology experts.
Democrats sat out the vote after raising questions about separate language in the budget bill that would allow the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to expand its search for a viable site to build a new Home for Veterans that had been planned for Detroit.
In West Michigan, the Rockford-based Wolverine manufacturing company revealed that chemicals from making popular products like Hush Puppies, Stride Rite and Merrell shoes had leached into the area’s many wells.
The number of dumping sites range from 40-45 and counting, state officials say.
The supplemental bill also directs agencies to use any available federal funding before spending the new state appropriations.
The budget bill would also appropriate $28.2 million in restricted revenue from the Michigan Infrastructure Fund for various projects, including $14 million to remediate and redevelop brownfield sites and $10.7 million for a statewide initiative to update water infrastructure.

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