A state of emergency has been declared by Lt. Gov. Brian for Kalamazoo County due to the ongoing health and safety concerns due to per- and polyfluoroalykyl (PFAS) contamination in the drinking water for the city of Parchment and Cooper Township.
As of July 2017, Kalamazoo County’s population consists of 263,000 residents, with 14.6% of those 65 and over. The water contamination contains chemicals at more than 20 times the threshold set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“This declaration will allow the state to supply additional resources to help with response efforts and ensure the health and safety of residents in Parchment and Cooper Township,” Calley said in a statement. “State and local officials and members of the community have been working in full partnership to ensure people in the area have safe water in the short, medium and long term.”
Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) are authorized to coordinate state efforts. The problems with the water were first discovered in Parchment and Cooper Township where there were unacceptable levels of contaminants. The testing was conducted as part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s proactive efforts to test all water systems for these chemicals, which are showing up in many states across the nation and prompting public health concerns.
“I have instructed my staff to continue to collaborate with our local emergency management partners in Kalamazoo County and state, city and county leaders to coordinate relief efforts,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and commander of MSP/EMHSD in a statement. “We are working diligently to make sure all available resources are provided to help residents.”
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