State Legislature OKs $23M for PFAS response

Michigan Capitol, Lansing
The Michigan Capitol in Lansing. (File)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — On what was likely the final day of session for the year for the state Legislature, the question of contaminated water was the focus of a supplemental appropriation.

Both chambers approved $23 million in spending Wednesday. The appropriation is essentially a down payment on what is called an emerging health concern over PFAS, a likely carcinogen, in the state.

Some of the money will likely be used to build a testing lab operated by the state to speed up the testing of water quality in Kent County and elsewhere, though lawmakers made it clear they want some of the testing costs recouped from federal funds or elsewhere when possible.

So far, PFAS contamination has been identified in more than 30 states. In Michigan, there are 14 known communities with 28 contamination sites. In Kent County, tainted water in residential wells has been blamed on waste from Rockford-based shoe manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide that was dumped decades ago.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of the toxic tap water investigation

–The Associated Press contributed to this report.