$23 million in emergency spending has been approved
Following the Flint Water Crisis, the state of Michigan is now facing more water woes after the discovery of polyfluoroalkyl substances at several locations throughout the state, including military bases, water treatment plants and an old industrial dump site.
The contaminants discovered have been classified as “emerging” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The chemicals are not easily broken down and can migrate from soil to groundwater. The magnitude of the discovery was pressing enough for Gov. Rick Snyder to approve $23 million in emergency spending to address the issue.
Because the chemicals are “emerging”, scientists are still uncertain as to what sort of effects could be had on human health, but studies suggest the potential for affecting fetal development, disruption of hormonal functions, damage to fertility and immune systems, and an increased risk for cancer.
The chemicals have been located at 28 separate sites in 14 different Michigan communities, most of which are placed on or near military installations.
The $23 million in emergency spending will include the hiring of new employees for water analysis, the purchasing of lab equipment and injecting cash into struggling public health departments.
This water turmoil has galvanized certain Michigan Democrats to establish a 5 ppt limit for the state’s water, a significant reduction from the 70 ppt limit that is currently in place, potentially following suit behind other states such as New Jersey, Minnesota and Vermont that have recently implemented strict guidelines.