LANSING, Mich. — As various instances of contamination emerge across the state, on Monday Gov. Rick Snyder announced the creation of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART).
MPART was formally created by Executive Order 2017-4 and members are tasked with finding a timely and comprehensive solution to the recent increase of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater systems across Michigan.
“There have been numerous communities throughout the state that have been negatively impacted by these recent outbreaks,” said state Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Unfortunately, parts of my district were included in this unfortunate situation. I am happy to see this emergency action being taken and hope it quickly leads to a solution.”
The team will be led by retired Michigan Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Isaacs and also include representatives from the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality; Health and Human Services; Military and Veterans Affairs; and Agriculture and Rural Development. Additional support will be provided by the Michigan Departments of State Police; Natural Resources; Technology, Management and Budget; Treasury; Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; and Education.
Because all levels of government are involved in maintaining public health, the team’s primary task will be enhancing cooperation and coordination among local, state and federal agencies and ensuring resources are being used as efficiently as possible. Officials will work with the Kent County Health Department and other government entities to not only determine contamination zones, but also to ensure the public continues to be updated on the evolving situation.
“The most important part of this is making sure everyone in the community knows what’s going on and knows what they need to do,” said MacGregor. “The Kent County Health Department has done a fantastic job keeping people updated and I am happy to work with them to spread this information to anyone who may need it.”
The Kent County Health Department maintains a website with up-to-date information that can be found here. The state has also created a website where the public can find out information about PFAS contamination and the ongoing efforts to address it in Michigan. The site will be continually updated as additional information becomes available.
MacGregor also announced that the Kent County Health Department will be hosting its second town hall meeting in the upcoming weeks. The meeting will take place on Nov. 29 at the Rockford Freshman Center located at 4500 Kroes St., Rockford. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., residents who have questions or concerns will be able to speak directly with various experts from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Wolverine Worldwide, Rose and Westra GZA, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).
At 6 p.m. the town hall meeting will begin in the center’s gymnasium.
The latest information and information about the upcoming town hall can be found here.