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Michigan legislators OK $23M for contamination response

Michigan has two homes now, in Grand Rapids and Marquette, but plans to build a new one in the Detroit area and to replace and downsize the Grand Rapids facility. A third of the state's 640,000 veterans live in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

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December 13, 2017 04:56 PM UPDATED December 13, 2017 04:57 PM LANSING, Mich. State legislators on Wednesday quickly approved spending $23.2 million to address what state regulators said is an emerging problem of drinking water contamination caused by chemicals used in firefighting foams, cleaning products and industrial applications. Contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, has been identified in 14 Michigan communitiesIt recently has drawn intense scrutiny north of Grand Rapids, where footwear company Wolverine World Wild dumped waste sludge decades ago, and at or nearby multiple military bases. The funding, included in a $52.8 million supplemental budget bill, would pay for response efforts, lab equipment, water sampling and other functionsFifteen new state employees would be hired to help. "We have no greater responsibility than to protect the public health of our constituents," said RepChris Afendoulis, a Republican from Grand Rapids Township. (function() { var randomUrl = getRandomUrl(',,'); var eventMethod = window.addEventListener ? "addEventListener" : "attachEvent"; var eventer = window[eventMethod]; var messageEvent = eventMethod == "attachEvent" ? "onmessage" : "message"; $("", { "class" : "col-xs-12", "src" : randomUrl, "scrolling" : "no", "frameborder" : "no" }).appendTo("#newsletter-signUpWidget"); eventer(messageEvent, function(e) { if (randomUrl.indexOf(e.origin) != -1 ) { var key = e.message ? "message" : "data"; var data = JSON.parse(e[key]); switch(data.messageid) { case 100: var signupevent = new CustomEvent( 'signup', {"detail": data} ); window.dispatchEvent( signupevent ); break; case 200: $('#newsletter-signUpWidget iframe').css('height', data.iframe.height); break; } } }, false ); })(); Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. SUBSCRIBE NOW The chemicals are widespread in the environment and have been detected in blood of people and animals around the world, according to the U.SAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease RegistryThe agency's website says scientists are uncertain about how they affect human health at exposure levels typically found in food and waterBut some studies suggest the chemicals might affect fetal development, disrupt hormonal functions, damage fertility and immune systems, and boost the risk of cancer. GovRick Snyder a month ago signed an executive directive establishing a PFAS team to coordinate response efforts among local, state and federal agencies. The legislation won approval from a Senate committee and both chambers in a matter of hours, on a 33-4 Senate vote and a 109-1 House voteIt was the last day of legislative voting in 2017. The spending bill also includes a provision allowing a planned new state veterans home in Detroit to be located outside the city, which drew criticism from DemocratsThe state Veterans Affairs Agency said it has had trouble finding an adequate place to build in DetroitThe measure would expand the project scope to include Wayne, Oakland and Macomb countiesIf a site were not found in the tri-county region within 45 days, then the search would be expanded further to the greater southeast Michigan area. SenDavid Knezek, a Dearborn Heights Democrat, said it would be "unconscionable" to ask Detroit residents to move an hour away to live in the facilityBut Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Hildenbrand, a Lowell Republican, said state officials "need that flexibility to find the right property and the right location." Michigan has two homes now, in Grand Rapids and Marquette, but plans to build a new one in the Detroit area and to replace and downsize the Grand Rapids facilityA third of the state's 640,000 veterans live in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The bill includes $25 million for brownfield remediation and redevelopment, water asset management and drinking water monitoringOf that total, $14 million would replace environmental cleanup money that has dried upThe money would come from the $35 million Michigan Infrastructure Fund. The bill also calls for $1 million to train schools on water testing and includes the authorization of construction projects at Saginaw State University, four community colleges, a new state police post in the Grand Rapids area and upgrades at a state fish hatchery. ___ Online: House Bill 4320: !function(){var TOUT=window.TOUT=window.TOUT||{},utils={getCanonicalLinkHref:function(){for(var links=document.getElementsByTagName("link"),i=0;i-1}}}(); !function(){var TOUT=window.TOUT=window.TOUT||{};if(console&&console.log&&console.log("Tout SDK: "+ +new Date),!TOUT._sdkScriptTagParsedAt){TOUT._sdkScriptTagParsedAt=new Date,TOUT.EMBED_CODE_VERSION="1.2.0";var sdkHost=TOUT.SDK_HOST||"",sdkProtocol=TOUT.SDK_PROTOCOL||("https:"==window.location.protocol?"https:":"http:"),analyticsHost=TOUT.SDK_ANALYTICS_HOST||"",analyticsProtocol=TOUT.SDK_ANALYTICS_PROTOCOL||sdkProtocol;TOUT.onReady=TOUT.onReady||function(func){return TOUT._onReadyQueue=TOUT._onReadyQueue||[],TOUT._onReadyQueue.push(func),TOUT},TOUT.fireSimpleAnalyticsPixel=function(trigger_name,attrs){var img=new Image,url=analyticsProtocol+"//"+analyticsHost+"/events?trigger="+trigger_name;for(var attr in attrs)attrs.hasOwnProperty(attr)&&(url+="&"+attr+"="+encodeURIComponent(attrs[attr]));return img.src=url,img},TOUT.init=function(brandUid,options){options=options||{};var sdkScriptId="tout-js-sdk";if(document.getElementById(sdkScriptId)&&!options.forceInit)return TOUT;if(brandUid=TOUT.SDK_BRAND_UID||brandUid,"undefined"==typeof brandUid||"string"!=typeof brandUid||0===brandUid.length||brandUid.length>7)return TOUT.fireSimpleAnalyticsPixel("sdk_log",{log_level:"error",log_message:"BRAND_UID_NOT_DEFINED",content_page_url:window.location.href}),console&&console.error&&console.error("TOUT - Invalid Brand UID: "+brandUid),TOUT;TOUT._initOptions=options;var script=document.createElement("script");script.type="text/javascript",script.src=sdkProtocol+"//"+sdkHost+"/sdk/v1/"+brandUid+".js",,script.className="tout-sdk";var firstScript=document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];return firstScript.parentNode.insertBefore(script,firstScript),TOUT.fireSimpleAnalyticsPixel("sdk_initialized",{content_brand_uid:brandUid,sdk_embed_code_version:TOUT.EMBED_CODE_VERSION,content_page_url:window.location.href}),TOUT}}}(); 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}); 3 days ago How America's big and small counties differ 1:17 3 days ago How America's big and small counties differ 1:37 8 days ago Big plans are kicking off with an event center in the south stadium area 2:11 22 days ago Mid-century modern home showcases the work of famed architect Don Murray View More Video Business Chileans vote in fiercely contested presidential election Autopsies underway for Canadian billionaires found dead A CDC ban on 'fetus' and 'transgender?' 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