Michigan city declares state of emergency over lead-contaminated water
Officials in Benton Harbor, Mich., Announced a state of emergency earlier this week as part of an ongoing effort to replace the city’s lead pipes, CNN reports.
Driving the news: The state of emergency, enacted Monday by the City Commission, was intended to trigger a comprehensive government approach to replace several lead pipes that have contaminated the city’s water supply.
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A water main rupture occurred Tuesday in Benton Harbor, ultimately causing a loss of water pressure throughout the city, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
As of this week, more than 71,000 cases of free bottled water have been distributed to residents of Benton Harbor since the crisis began in September, according to the department.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) has asked the state legislature to provide an additional investment of $ 11.4 million to help replace the city’s lead pipes.
What they say : “We understand that the residents of Benton Harbor are going through very stressful times, ”said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement.
“I want them to know that the state is fully committed to ensuring that families have access to safe drinking water,” she added.
“Every Michigander deserves clean drinking water,” Whitmer said in a press release Tuesday. “We will not rest until every parent feels able to give their child a glass of water knowing it is safe.”
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