Michigan declares state of emergency for cities plagued with water contamination


  • Shutterstock

Michigan is once again fighting a public battle with water contamination.

On Sunday, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley declared an emergency in response to the discovery that two western Michigan townships tested positive for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Most commonly referred to as PFAS, the human-made substances, which previously have been used in the production of everyday items like pizza boxes and cookware, are known for negatively impacting reproductive and developmental health. According to the EPA, PFAS are also known to affect the liver, kidneys, and immune systems detrimentally.

The PFAS were discovered in the water supply for Parchment and Cooper Township — small, but nevertheless significant, communities located near Kalamazoo. As reported by MLive, tests revealed that the two communities showed a level of 1,587 parts per trillion of PFAS, an amount that is more than 20 times the EPA recommendation of 70 parts per trillion.

Public Works crews are flushing the water lines, and residents have been advised not to drink the water until further notice.

Calley is acting governor and made the state of emergency declaration while Gov. Rick Snyder is out of state.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.