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Gary Peters

Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids
Photo courtesy of the Gerald R Ford International Airport

Congress has passed legislation to allow airports to stop using foam containing PFAS chemicals.

Under current law, commercial airports must use firefighting foam that contains toxic chemicals known as PFAS. However, Congress wants that to change.

U.S. Senate chamber
US Senate

More than 20 Michigan residents attended a U.S. Senate hearing on PFAS chemicals in Washington D.C. Wednesday.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters, who convened the hearing, has asked for faster action from the federal government to clean up groundwater that's contaminated by the chemicals.

PFAS foam washing up on the shore of Van Ettan Lake.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The growing PFAS crisis, and the federal government's role in it, will be the subject of a Congressional subcommittee hearing next month.

PFAS are an emerging chemical contaminant that have been found at multiple sites across the state and are linked to health problems including cancer.

http://en.kremlin.ru

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “playing games” with the United States.

Peters says he wanted President Trump to “call out” Putin for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election during their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland today.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Both of Michigan’s United States senators announced today they will oppose President Trump's choice to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Water faucet
user william_warby / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A report on the dangers of PFAS exposure that was suppressed by the EPA was released today.

The report details the health effects of PFAS and recommends the advisory level for these chemicals be made stricter.

Emails that surfaced last month found that the EPA feard a "public relations nightmare" would ensue once the report was made public. 

Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA
Scottpruitt.com / Scottpruitt.com

Water advocacy groups in Michigan concerned about PFAS contamination want Scott Pruitt to resign as head of EPA.

This week, emails surfaced detailing the EPA’s decision to hide a report on the danger of chemicals known as PFAS.

According to the emails, the report was kept under wraps to avoid a “public relations nightmare.”

Chris Coulon, a member of the group Need Our Water – or NOW – says Scott Pruitt should not be allowed to head the EPA after hiding this information from the public.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers wants more federal money to address drinking water contamination around the state.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee and U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters included money for PFAS contamination in their latest budget bill.

The family of toxic chemicals, known as PFAS, have been linked to certain forms of cancer as well as other health issues.

park sign
Flcikr user Patricia Drury

A National Park Service conservation program will help pay for a new 6-mile multi-use trail around Detroit's Belle Isle Park.

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters say the program is providing $750,000 for the project. 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance program provides grants for local and state park projects outside national park boundaries. Private investments will match the federal funding for the trail.

Senator Gary Peters sits across a table from Stateside host Cynthia Canty.
Michigan Radio

The Trump administration has rolled out its plan to respond to violence and guns in our schools. It wants to provide firearms training to some teachers. But it has backed off on making major changes to gun legislation: For example, there’s nothing about raising the minimum age to buy guns from 18 to 21.

Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, where 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz has admitted killing 17 people, President Trump said he was in favor of raising the minimum age but backed off after meeting with the National Rifle Association.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan congressional leaders are asking the EPA about the status of an investigation into the causes of the Flint water crisis.

The EPA Office of Inspector General launched its investigation in January 2016 into the causes of the crisis that exposed the people of Flint to lead-tainted tap water and other health threats.

However more than two years later, the full report has still not been released.

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Michigan’s two U.S. Senators want universities that receive federal funding to certify they are properly handling sexual abuse investigations.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced “The Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations (ALERT) Act" this week.

Detroit Economic Club / via Twitter

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters says former Republican Governor John Engler might not be the right person to lead Michigan State University right now.

Peters made the comments after addressing the Detroit Economic Club Monday, where his speech focused on Michigan’s future as a center of development for autonomous vehicles, and the artificial intelligence capabilities they promise.

Senate Democrats / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

With the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s call to a grieving military widow, lost in many of the conversations was where the soldier actually was stationed. He was in Niger, a landlocked country in western Africa with over 20 million citizens. Few Americans knew the U.S. military had any presence there.

Senators still have unanswered questions. The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee was briefed by two top Pentagon officials about U.S. military presence in West Africa.

gary peters
Senate Democrats / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Yesterday, a North Korean official indicated his country might soon test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, while the nation’s leader Kim Jong-un has called President Donald Trump “deranged.”

Joan Larsen faces a tangled path to a plum spot on a federal appeals court. The only thing standing in her way is Michigan’s two U.S. Senators.

Steve Carmody / MICHIGAN RADIO

With so much happening around Michigan and in Washington D.C., Stateside invited U.S. Sen. Gary Peters to stop by to explain what's important to him and to Michigan right now. The Senator has a number of legislative items he's working on for the state and for the Great Lakes, but he also took the time to talk about former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony and President Trump’s tweets.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) wants to see the Trump administration put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over his support of the Syrian government.

Putin criticized last week’s U-S air strike on a Syrian airfield, where a chemical weapons attack was launched on a Syrian city.

The Michigan Democrat says President Trump should pressure his Russian counterpart to drop his support of  Syrian Preisdent Bashar al-Assad, who Peters describes as a “war criminal’.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.
Wikipedia

A new bill introduced by Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters proposes a comprehensive review of the U.S. criminal justice system. The bill has received bipartisan support, as well as the support of many major police organizations and civil rights groups.

"When you combine all the support, I believe that's the kind of coalition necessary to give this commission the political power to see it's recommendations actually enacted into law," Peters said. 

Michigan Democrats take issue with Trump's EPA directive

Jan 25, 2017
Courtesy Nan Palmero / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some of Michigan's congressional representatives are worried about new rules from the Trump administration.

Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and Representative Dan Kildee wrote a letter to the president expressing their concerns about a directive that forbids the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from ordering any new contracts or grants.

The lawmakers fear that this directive could "jeopardize much-needed federal funding for Flint."

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next transportation secretary faced a U.S. Senate panel. Senator Gary Peters, D-MI, sits on the Senate Transportation Committee and says he likes a lot of what he heard from Secretary-designate Elaine Chao – especially when it comes to the auto industry and next-generation autonomous vehicles, an important issue for the Detroit car makers.

U.S. Senate chamber
US Senate

Michigan’s U.S. Senators have serious concerns about President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees so far.

Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow said they will work with the new administration regardless of who is appointed, but they also believe it will be difficult to get support from Trump’s current nominees.

Peters said the cabinet picks don’t make much sense to him.

Work crew replacing a lead service line in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Senate has approved a $10 billion water projects bill that includes money for Flint, Michigan - nearly a year after a public health emergency was first declared there because of lead-contaminated water.

Senators approved the bill by a 95-3 vote. It goes to the House, where approval of a similar bill - minus the Flint provision - is expected as soon as next week.

“The people of Flint have waited too long. They cannot wait any longer and we must take action,” U.S. Senator Gary Peters, D-MI, said today.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters says now’s the time “to act on guns”.

Peters and his fellow Democrats get their long-sought votes on gun control after the massacre in Orlando, Florida, but election-year politics ensure no changes in the nation's laws.

Democrats are expected to vote tonight to block two Republican amendments, saying they don't do enough. Republicans are expected to block two Democratic amendments, saying they threaten the rights of gun owners.

Senator Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, participated in a filibuster on the senate floor Wednesday meant to call attention to legislative inaction on gun control.
Gary Peters / Facebook

Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., took the Senate floor on Wednesday as part of a Democratic filibuster meant to draw attention to gun control issues in the wake of Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando, in which 49 people at a gay nightclub were killed by a gunman using a legally purchased assault rifle.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Congress has ordered stronger safety measures for pipelines carrying oil and other fuels in the Great Lakes region.

The requirement is contained in a bill that cleared the Senate on Monday and the House last week. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The measure re-authorizes a federal program that regulates 2.6 million miles of pipelines nationwide.

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan says it designates the Great Lakes as an "unusually sensitive area," where pipelines must meet tougher standards for safe operations.

Sen. Gary Peters joined Cynthia Canty in the studio for today's "Stateside"
Mercedes Mejia

There are some important issues that seem to be mired in Republican resistance on Capitol Hill, federal aid for Flint, and hearings on a new Justice for the United States Supreme Court among them.

Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., joined Cynthia Canty on today's Stateside to talk about the latest developments and what it might take to get these efforts running through the Senate.

money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s U.S. senators are trying again to get $172 million in federal funding for fixing Flint’s damaged water system. 

Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow announced today they have included the money in the Water Resources Development Act. The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to consider this legislation this week.

Stabenow, D-Mich, says she’s glad they’ve “found a new path forward to get urgently-needed help for families in Flint and other communities across the country with serious lead and water issues.”

picture of DTE Trenton Channel power plant
Courtesy of DTE Energy

Michigan’s US Senators want the Environmental Protection Agency to step in if the state doesn’t act on a plan to curb Wayne County air pollution soon.

In a letter to EPA head Gina McCarthy Friday, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters urged “swift completion” of that plan.

In 2013, part the county was found to be in “non-attainment” with new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide emissions.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was supposed to submit a plan to fix that to the EPA in April 2015. But to date, MDEQ still hasn’t done that.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation see today’s criminal charges as just a step in the right direction.

On a conference call with reporters, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, welcomed the filing of criminal charges against two state regulators and a Flint city employee in the Flint water crisis.

“But it would be incomplete if that justice did not also include those who did this to Flint … meaning the state government,” says Kildee.

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