Michigan declares state of emergency for cities plagued with water contamination


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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.

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