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State of emergency declared over contaminated water in Kalamazoo Co.

Running faucet
Melissa Benmark
/
Michigan Radio

Michigan officials say state agencies will be providing additional help for two communities near Kalamazoo dealing with chemical contamination of the public water system.

The governor's office said Sunday that a state of emergency has been declared for Kalamazoo County over the health concerns in Parchment and Cooper Township, where water test results announced Thursday revealed high levels of substances known as PFAS.

About 3,000 people on the affected system have been told not to drink or cook with the water, and thousands of cases of bottled water have been distributed.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley says state and local officials are working to ensure residents have safe water.

“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."

PFAS are chemicals used in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of household and consumer products. The source of the Michigan contamination is under investigation.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Rebecca Kruth is the host of Weekend Edition at Michigan Radio. She also co-hosts Michigan Radio’s weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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