michigan department – Blissfield http://blissfield.net/ Fri, 25 Mar 2022 16:01:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://blissfield.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png michigan department – Blissfield http://blissfield.net/ 32 32 Camping in Michigan State Parks? Book your dates as soon as possible https://blissfield.net/camping-in-michigan-state-parks-book-your-dates-as-soon-as-possible/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 16:55:52 +0000 https://blissfield.net/camping-in-michigan-state-parks-book-your-dates-as-soon-as-possible/ We are fortunate to live in a state that is considered a “Water and winter wonderland“Michigan is scenic any time of the year! However, we Michiganians know that the warm weather is all too brief, so when summer finally arrives, we’re ready to take full advantage of it. If you’re planning on camping at any […]]]>

We are fortunate to live in a state that is considered a “Water and winter wonderland“Michigan is scenic any time of the year! However, we Michiganians know that the warm weather is all too brief, so when summer finally arrives, we’re ready to take full advantage of it.

If you’re planning on camping at any of Michigan’s state parks this season, you need to make your reservation yesterday. Although it’s only the beginning of March, many of the most popular weekends of the year are already full according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Although many state parks allow you to make your reservation up to 6 months in advance, when the state camping website first opened reservations November 1, 2021 for the upcoming season summer 2022, many dates have been entered although the DNR says you may still be able to find open dates.

For my part, I am very disappointed with this news. Being recently back in state camping was high on my Michigan summer list. I was so excited to visit all the places I didn’t get to visit the first time, like Petoskey, Porcupine Mountains, and Tahquamenon Falls. Are my summer plans in jeopardy?

There are several possible explanations for the sudden increased interest in Michigan state park campgrounds. The most obvious cause being the Covid-19 pandemic. During peak times of the pandemic, camping and exploring the outdoors was one of the few activities we could still do and many Michiganders used quarantine to pick up camping and hiking as a new hobby. .

It’s exciting that so many residents want to explore all that Pure Michigan has to offer because there’s so much! However, it is frustrating that some of us have to go without or adjust our plans for the season. A Reddit user said, “I’ve argued before that Michigan residents should be one hour ahead of people in the state.” While others said, “It’s time to create more state parks!”

the Michigan MNR encourages those wishing to camp this summer to check back frequently as plans change and there may be cancellations. Some have said that the longer a reservation is made, the more likely it is to go unused. I have a feeling that if gas prices continue to rise the way they are now, many Michigan residents won’t be able to afford long road trips across the state.

Have your summer plans been foiled due to a lack of available camping dates?

Check Out This 1976 Airstream Sovereign Steel RV For Sale In Kalamazoo

the Facebook’s registration it marks 31 feet and is an original 1976 model. Once inside, you might be sold right off the bat.

Don’t Call Yourself a Yooper Unless You’ve Been to These Places in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

It can almost be considered an entirely different state, while encompassing everything beautiful about Michigan. There are places that are truly breathtaking, and if you’ve never planned a trip to the Upper Peninsula, make sure you’re comfortable with long drives.

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End of an era: Michigan’s final county rescinds school mask mandate as omicron swell abates https://blissfield.net/end-of-an-era-michigans-final-county-rescinds-school-mask-mandate-as-omicron-swell-abates/ Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:14:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/end-of-an-era-michigans-final-county-rescinds-school-mask-mandate-as-omicron-swell-abates/ The last countywide school masking mandate has been rescinded. As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, Wayne County, the state’s most populous, rescinded its August emergency health order. “This decision comes after the (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) expired its public health advisory on masking in indoor public places,” a brief statement read. […]]]>

The last countywide school masking mandate has been rescinded.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, Wayne County, the state’s most populous, rescinded its August emergency health order.

“This decision comes after the (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) expired its public health advisory on masking in indoor public places,” a brief statement read.

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, the state health department relaxed its mask-wearing recommendations, no longer requiring students and school staff to wear a universal mask. This came as Michigan’s seven-day average of newly reported cases, percentage of positive tests and hospitalizations for COVID-19 continued to decline from record highs last month.

Last week, Oakland, Ingham and Washtenaw counties and the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department in northern Michigan and the Northwestern Michigan Health Department, which covers the counties of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego, have announced that they will lift the requirements. Orders from Oakland and Washtenaw counties will not expire until February 28.

In September, in the absence of a statewide order, there were 16 counties with health department mask orders. School districts outside of these counties were given autonomy to set their own requirements. Many of these individual districts also recently dropped mask requirements, although some remain in place.

In a letter, Wayne County Chief Medical Officer Avani Sheth said masking is still important to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Children should “continue to be encouraged to wear a mask” taking into account their vaccination status, because they or members of their household are at risk, or for other reasons. Masking is still recommended as part of isolation and quarantine periods, she wrote.

RELATED: More Washtenaw County schools are making masks optional

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those infected self-isolate for five days and wear a mask for an additional five days. Vaccinated people who have been exposed must wear a mask for 10 days. Those who are not vaccinated or who have not received a timely booster must stay at home for five days and then mask up for five days.

Masking at school has been the subject of much debate, often contentious. There have been protests and school board meetings filled with angry parents. Now school districts are facing lawsuits.

Dr. Christine Nefcy, chief medical officer of Traverse City-based Munson Healthcare, noted this week that there were still high rates of COVID-19 positivity in Northern Michigan and elsewhere in the state. In some counties, particularly western and northwestern Michigan, the seven-day average positive test rate was 15-20%. The state’s seven-day average on Wednesday was around 9%. Although much lower than it was in January, when it exceeded 30%, it is still nearly double the 5% danger threshold established at the start of the pandemic.

People who know they are at high risk of serious illness should remain cautious, Nefcy said. “For anyone feeling uncomfortable with the easing of restrictions, it’s certainly not a bad thing to continue masking or avoid public and crowded places.”

She encourages frequent handwashing and vaccination of children, who are much less likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 than older age groups.

“I think we all have to try to find the right balance,” she said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend people wear masks in indoor public spaces if they live in areas with high or substantial community transmission, which means there have been 50 new cases or more per 100,000 people last week. Every county in Michigan is currently eligible, according to CDC and state data.

Rick Sadler, associate professor in the Division of Public Health/Department of Family Medicine at Michigan State University, said he sees health departments adjusting guidelines as transmission levels increase. or decreased. It’s always helpful to wear a mask when few of them are infected, but there is a level of inconvenience people see, he said.

“I think (masking) is a simple, friendly thing to do when we know there are outbreaks,” he said.

Learn more about MLive:

Michigan withdraws advisory on masks, including for schools, as ‘worst omicron surge is behind us’

Michigan COVID data for Thursday, February 17: Cases 8 times lower than 4 weeks ago

Michigan doctor urges COVID vaccine as new data shows it also protects babies

“I Thought I Was Watching Him Die,” Mom Says of Son With MIS-C

“You cry with them,” Bronson’s nurse says at Kalamazoo COVID-19 vigil

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Most Michigan County Health Departments Waive School Mask Requirements https://blissfield.net/most-michigan-county-health-departments-waive-school-mask-requirements/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/most-michigan-county-health-departments-waive-school-mask-requirements/ As the omicron wave of COVID-19 appears to be abating, statewide health officials are rescinding countywide school mask mandates. On Friday, Oakland County, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department in northern Michigan and the Northwest Michigan Health Department, which covers Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties , announced that they would lift requirements that masks be […]]]>

As the omicron wave of COVID-19 appears to be abating, statewide health officials are rescinding countywide school mask mandates.

On Friday, Oakland County, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department in northern Michigan and the Northwest Michigan Health Department, which covers Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties , announced that they would lift requirements that masks be worn in school settings.

The Oakland County order expires Feb. 28. Northern Michigan orders end earlier, Thursday, February 17.

These counties are only the latest to make such decisions, as case numbers have fallen from steep slopes in the past month. Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are down about 50% from record numbers in mid-January. Less than 11% of coronavirus tests were positive on Tuesday, February 8. This is the lowest rate since October.

The Washtenaw County Health Department also announced Friday that it will be eliminating its school COVID-19 masks, isolation and quarantine requirements, effective Feb. 28.

These came a day after the Ingham County Health Department rescinded its emergency orders mandating masks in educational institutions and quarantine and isolation procedures for close contact with the school, from February 19.

This leaves only Wayne County with an order that is not expired or does not expire. “At this time, our mask mandate remains in place,” a spokesperson wrote in response to a question about whether the county intended to maintain its requirement.

“As we see our critical metrics of vaccinations, hospital admissions and cases trending in a direction that tells us the impact of COVID-19 on our community is dramatically improving, now is the time to remove ordering masks for child care centers and educational institutions,” Oakland County Health Division Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust said in a statement.

Oakland County and other officials have issued the notice to give school district administrators time to prepare staff, board members and families.

“The Health Division still strongly recommends wearing a mask in indoor public places, including educational facilities,” the Oakland County statement read.

Health departments noted that federal and state authorities, including the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, continue to recommend indoor masking in public places. , especially when transmission levels are high.

While there hasn’t been a statewide requirement since June, Michigan now has an active public health advisory, first issued before Thanksgiving: All residents, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear masks in indoor public places. The state health department has also recommended universal school masking. “We still recommend masks, but are monitoring the data closely and will provide updated guidance as needed,” a spokesperson reported.

“We are at a point in this pandemic where public health strategies will begin to move more towards personal responsibility as we learn to live with COVID-19 over the long term,” said Linda Vail, chief health officer. Ingham County Health, in a statement. “As a public health agency, we will continue to support local school districts by recommending evidence-based public health measures, educating on current guidelines and practices, and making recommendations to stay safe and healthy. in good health.”

Mask mandates have been a point of community contention since late summer. The issue was hotly debated, often vitriolally and sometimes with threats, in crowded school board meetings across the state. Several school districts are facing related lawsuits.

RELATED: Mask mandate prompts Oakland County parents to sue 3 school districts and health department

In September, there were 16 counties with health department mask orders. School districts outside of these counties were allowed to set their own requirements. Leaders in many districts with their own mandates have already removed them. At the beginning of this month, the number of districts to cancel orders dropped by about 20%.

RELATED: Find out which public school districts in Michigan are currently mandating masks

The Northwestern Michigan Health Department cited falling case numbers per capita, hospitalization rates that haven’t risen as quickly as infection rates, and the availability of childhood vaccines.

“Parents have had ample opportunity to immunize their eligible school-aged children,” a health department press release said.

Since November, all children 5 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. However, vaccination rates among children are low. About 39.6% of children ages 5 to 19 have received at least one injection in Michigan. The rate is lowest, about 26%, among 5-11 year olds.

The state seems to have reached a turning point.

The number of new cases, although still high, continues to decline. The seven-day average of new reported cases has fallen to less than 4,000 a day this week. It was the lowest number of cases per day in seven days since early November. That’s down 59% from last week. On January 19, Michigan averaged 17,595 new cases per day.

Per capita rates, however, are still significant enough to put all of the state’s 83 counties in the highest risk category, according to state data this week.

New school outbreaks were also down. Last week, there were 99 new outbreaks of COVID-19 in K-12 schools affecting approximately 700 students and staff. This is down from 126 new outbreaks affecting around 1,000 students and staff the previous week.

“The mask mandate was always intended to be temporary. It was always intended to be used when we have epidemic conditions that require this safety measure to be in place, ”said Lisa Peacock, health officer for the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department and the Department of Northwest Michigan Health, at a COVID conference in Northern Michigan. updated this week hosted by Traverse City-based Munson Healthcare.

This story has been updated to include a quote from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on the status of its mask recommendations.

Learn more about MLive:

As COVID surged, Michigan schools scrapped mask mandates

Michigan COVID data for Thursday, Feb. 10: Cases plummet — and the evidence is in shit

They served overseas. Now a military medical team is helping out in Michigan

Michigan family have hours to figure out father’s death from COVID before daughter is hospitalized

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Hazel Park becomes the latest town in Michigan to ban conversion therapy https://blissfield.net/hazel-park-becomes-the-latest-town-in-michigan-to-ban-conversion-therapy/ Wed, 09 Feb 2022 17:10:34 +0000 https://blissfield.net/hazel-park-becomes-the-latest-town-in-michigan-to-ban-conversion-therapy/ Conversion therapy for minors was officially banned by Hazel Park City Council after a unanimous vote on Tuesday. “This order banning conversion therapy embodies our continued commitment to the LGBTQ community, while protecting our children from dangerous and discredited practices that have no legitimate medical basis,” said Board Member Luke Londo, who presented the prescription […]]]>

Conversion therapy for minors was officially banned by Hazel Park City Council after a unanimous vote on Tuesday.

“This order banning conversion therapy embodies our continued commitment to the LGBTQ community, while protecting our children from dangerous and discredited practices that have no legitimate medical basis,” said Board Member Luke Londo, who presented the prescription and identifies as bisexual.

By passing the ban, Hazel Park becomes the sixth city in the state to have both a Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) and a conversion therapy ban. The city joins Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Royal Oak, all of which have HROs prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation, identity of gender and gender expression, as well as bans on conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy has been widely condemned by the medical community and has been documented by numerous studies to pose a significant risk of serious emotional and physical harm to young people who experience it. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Directive 2021-3 in June 2021, which requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to “take necessary action to prohibit the use of state and federal funds for the harmful practice of conversion therapy on minors.”

“From day one, I’ve made it clear that hate has no place in Michigan,” Whitmer said. at the time. “My administration is committed to removing the systemic barriers faced by young LGBTQ+ Michiganders so that our state is a place where they can reach their full potential.”

The Evolution of Hazel Park’s Commitment to Members of the LGBTQ+ Community

Hazel Park, along with nearby Ferndale and Royal Oak, well known as LGBTQ+ havens, has taken steps to truly open its arms to the LGBTQ+ community in recent years. The city adopted its HRO in April of Last year, sponsored by Londo and Councilmember Alissa Sullivan. The city hosted its first Pride in the Park celebration in 2019.

“Hazel Park has had an active and vibrant LGBTQ community for years,” Londo told Pride Source. “City Council has been very deliberate lately in seizing opportunities to recognize our LGBTQ residents, whether it’s raising the Pride flag each June, hosting a Pride event, or passing legislation to protect their civil rights.

“In fact, when I first mentioned wanting to pass a human rights ordinance last year, everyone was under the impression that we already had one,” Londo continued. “I was just codifying what was common practice – ensuring that our LGBTQ community was protected and celebrated.”

The ordinance still has to pass a second reading, which will take place at the Hazel Park town council meeting on March 8. Once adopted at second reading, it will enter into force later this month.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Luke Londo’s last name as Lonzo.

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Lead in Michigan City Tap Water Declines After Rising for Three Years | Michigan https://blissfield.net/lead-in-michigan-city-tap-water-declines-after-rising-for-three-years-michigan/ Wed, 15 Dec 2021 20:32:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/lead-in-michigan-city-tap-water-declines-after-rising-for-three-years-michigan/ [ad_1] The amount of lead in drinking water in Benton Harbor, Mich. Has declined, new tests show, after three consecutive years of high results, residents have been forced to consume bottled water and prompted to replace the old pipes. Lead levels in the majority of the Black City’s drinking water are now just within state-set […]]]>


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The amount of lead in drinking water in Benton Harbor, Mich. Has declined, new tests show, after three consecutive years of high results, residents have been forced to consume bottled water and prompted to replace the old pipes.

Lead levels in the majority of the Black City’s drinking water are now just within state-set standards which, if exceeded, require a utility to take corrective action and notify residents of the city. ‘a problem, according to state officials.

Residents are concerned about the health effects of their families, as lead can slow cognitive development and is particularly dangerous for children.

Michigan officials said the new results indicate that controlling corrosion to prevent pipes from leaching lead into drinking water is helping. But the nearly 10,000 residents of Benton Harbor are still expected to use bottled water for basic activities such as drinking and cooking, officials said.

“Everything will continue as before, it’s just that the data shows us that the corrosion control is working. We need to keep going, keep improving it and keep working on it, ”said Eric Oswald, director of the division that oversees drinking water at the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

Some community activists have noted that the lead levels in the city’s water are now barely below federal limits, which many experts say need to be lowered. The Centers for Disease Control says no amount of lead is considered safe.

“No one should be doing a victory lap,” said Reverend Edward Pinkney, chairman of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council. “Lead levels are still 15 parts per billion – and that is unacceptable.”

The state provides free bottled water to residents of Benton Harbor, but collecting it can be time consuming, and tasks like cooking can quickly use up personal supplies. Homebound residents can request deliveries.

Since the start of 2019, residents have been offered free at-home filters designed to remove lead from the tap. In October, the state said it was reviewing the effectiveness of these filters “out of caution” and issued instructions for residents to use bottled water extensively.

Oswald said preliminary results indicate the filters are working properly, but it won’t be until the first few months of next year for the Environmental Protection Agency to complete the study and confirm the results.

Once the study is completed, state officials will decide whether the filters are reliable enough or whether bottled water should continue to be widely used, Oswald said.

Recent tests of the Benton Harbor water system show 15 parts per billion lead; more and it would exceed Michigan standards. Tests carried out earlier in the year produced levels of 24 ppb.

The highest site sampled contained 48 ppb of lead. Tests carried out earlier in the year produced some results in the hundreds of parts per billion.

In the aftermath of the Flint water crisis, Michigan adopted the country’s most stringent requirements for reducing lead in drinking water, implementing new testing standards and timelines for the replacement of lead pipes. Despite the changes, advocacy groups told the EPA in September in a petition that city and state officials had not acted quickly enough to resolve the Benton Harbor issues.

In the United States, millions of lead service lines are underground. The recently passed infrastructure bill guaranteed $ 15 billion for the replacement of lead service lines and the reconciliation package pending in Congress includes billions more – money which advocates say is vital but will not be enough to remove all the lead pipes.

Pinkney noted that the town still had around 6,000 lead service lines connecting residents to its water supply system that needed to be replaced.

“Let’s work on removing all the lead pipes, before we do victory laps,” he said.

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Michigan city on edge as lead-water crisis persists https://blissfield.net/michigan-city-on-edge-as-lead-water-crisis-persists-2/ https://blissfield.net/michigan-city-on-edge-as-lead-water-crisis-persists-2/#respond Thu, 04 Nov 2021 17:42:13 +0000 https://blissfield.net/michigan-city-on-edge-as-lead-water-crisis-persists-2/ [ad_1] BENTON HARBOR, Michigan – Shortly after sunrise on a recent Saturday in Benton Harbor, Michigan, residents began lining up for free bottled water so they could drink and cook without fear of the high levels of lead in city tap water. Free water supplies are an integral part of life in the predominantly black […]]]>


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BENTON HARBOR, Michigan – Shortly after sunrise on a recent Saturday in Benton Harbor, Michigan, residents began lining up for free bottled water so they could drink and cook without fear of the high levels of lead in city tap water.

Free water supplies are an integral part of life in the predominantly black city of southwest Michigan, where nearly half of the estimated 10,000 residents live below the poverty line. For three years, tests of its public water system revealed high levels of lead.

It takes time to wait for free bottled water, and some residents are wondering why, in a state that recently faced the Flint water crisis, the problem was not resolved sooner.

“It’s tiring,” said Rhonda Nelson, queuing at a site run by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor.

“I understand what Flint was going through, I really understand it,” she said.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has pledged to spend millions of dollars to replace the city’s main service lines within 18 months – a breakneck pace for a process that often takes decades. For now, residents have been warned not to cook, drink or prepare formula with tap water.

Residents are concerned about what the high levels of lead mean for the health of their families. The problem is embarrassing and stressful as well. Drivers line up early at water distribution sites, driving people away from work and families. Bottled water should be used with care so that it does not run out. Even queues have consequences – idling consumes gasoline that drivers have to pay to refuel more often.

Standing in line, LaKeena Crawford worried about the consequences for her 8-year-old daughter, who she saw trying to turn on the water.

“I’m like ‘No!’ Crawford said, adding that she wanted her daughter to understand that lead in water is dangerous. But, “I don’t want to scare him too much.”

Exposure to lead can slow cognitive development, especially in young children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and federal officials say no amount of lead in drinking water is considered safe for their consumption. In recent months, activists have pressed for more immediate and aggressive action, and the state has stepped up its response.

Some wonder if the problem would have been resolved more quickly if the residents of Benton Harbor were more like those of neighboring, predominantly white St. Joseph.

“Sometimes it’s enough to speak out against racism, and that’s what it feels like,” said Ambie Bell, helping distribute water to residents.

There are millions of aging underground lead lines connecting buildings to water pipes across the country, mostly in the Midwest, but also scattered across other states like New Jersey and Massachusetts. Old pipes can become an urgent risk to public health. Newark, New Jersey, experienced prolonged lead water problems which led to the rapid replacement of thousands of lead pipes. The high test results in Clarksburg, West Virginia, sounded the alarm earlier this year. The word Flint is now synonymous with lead water problems.

Digging up and replacing lead service lines is costly, straining tight local budgets. Infrastructure and reconciliation bills pending in Congress include billions to deal with leadline replacement which activists say could make a significant difference.

The lead water problem in Flint began when this town switched its water source to the Flint River as a temporary saving measure without proper treatment, corroding its lead pipes. But Benton Harbor’s water source, Lake Michigan, is considered safe and many other places find their water there, said City Manager Ellis Mitchell.

“Our problem is clearly our own infrastructure,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency identified a series of violations at the Benton Harbor water facility. Federal inspection has found problems so serious that the city must consider relinquishing ownership, the EPA said.

“The people of Benton Harbor have suffered for too long,” EPA administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

Water systems sometimes produce high test results, but in Benton Harbor authorities have been unable to bring them down. The long-term solution is to replace the roughly 2,400 pipes that may contain lead, state officials said.

The city also lacks resources. Previous governors installed emergency managers with broad decision-making power that downsized, and the city’s population shrank, reducing its tax base.

“This results in a ripple effect of reduced technical, managerial and financial capacity at the water plant due to underinvestment in personnel, equipment and training,” said Scott Dean, Door -speaking of the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

After the Flint water crisis, Michigan tightened requirements for lead in drinking water in 2018, boasting that it passed the most protective law in the country. He imposed more stringent requirements for testing water for lead and demanded that old lead service lines be replaced.

Environmental groups and local activists filed a petition on Benton Harbor in September with the EPA, calling for aggressive action. Reverend Edward Pinkney, an activist named on the petition, said if they had not filed a request, an aggressive official response might have taken even longer.

“We couldn’t take it anymore,” said Pinkney.

The Michigan House of Representatives oversight committee held a hearing last month on Benton Harbor. Republican Committee Chairman Steven Johnson asked why the state’s recent response to the city’s main crisis makes it appear to have gone “from zero to 100 miles an hour” even though the problem has persisted for years.

Michigan officials said they took the issue seriously, and on Thursday Governor Whitmer issued a directive calling for a review of current drinking water rules, including looking at ways to reduce lead levels and ensure that communities fully inform the public in the event of a problem.

Previous efforts have included providing Benton Harbor residents with filters to reduce the amount of lead in drinking water, although their effectiveness is under review, and corrosion control to reduce the amount of lead in drinking water. the pipes. While the overall lead sampling results are still too high, the proportion of high readings has declined, officials said.

Inspectors, however, have hit the city for failing to notify water customers in their water bills of the problem during a recent one-year period.

Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician and professor at Michigan State University who sounded the alarm bells about Flint. She receives questions from parents to find out if a developmental problem could be related to lead in the water. However, it is extremely difficult to establish a direct link between an individual’s health problem and lead in water.

“This is why lead poisoning has eluded diagnosis, treatment and prevention for so long,” she said, adding that lead exposure is not safe for children and that ‘It’s too early to predict what the long-term impact might be. Lead levels can vary among households, and individuals may respond to exposure differently. The impact may also depend on other factors like poverty, which makes it particularly important to tackle the problem in cities like Benton Harbor, she said.

Marc A. Edwards, a professor at Virginia Tech who specializes in water treatment, said the focus on Benton Harbor highlights a national problem with cities struggling with high lead levels. He said major water crises like Flint erode public confidence in the official management of water systems.

Sylvester Bownes, who wears a prosthetic right leg, said he had been drinking bottled water for years because he didn’t trust the water in Benton Harbor.

Pushing a makeshift cart full of several cases of bottled water half a mile from his home, he said a broken water pipe temporarily cut off the public water supply, so no running water, he not only needed bottled water for drinking, but water for basic needs like filling his toilet.

“Water is everything,” Bownes said. “It’s like gold.”

Homebound residents can call a hotline for water, but Bownes said the process is taking too long and unreliable. State officials said hundreds of people have been added to a list of weekly deliveries. If there are any issues, residents should report them, they said.

Mitchell, the city manager, said last month that customers are charged for water which authorities say can still be used for tasks such as laundry and washing up. He said the city was looking to see if there was any kind of relief about it for residents.

At the Boys & Girls Club, volunteers distributed nearly 2,200 cases at noon.

Nelson, who has daughters of 12 and 14 and a 5-year-old son, said preparing dinner may require 15 to 20 bottles of water. “I hope they fix it soon,” she said.

Greg Johnson, who was the first to stop around 8:15 a.m., said he arrived early so his family’s supplies could be replenished for his daughters, aged 8 and 11.

“It takes two cases in the morning to get them ready for school,” he said. “They have to wash up and stuff. It’s a bit hectic. “

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The Associated Press receives support from the Walton Family Foundation for coverage of water and environmental policy. The AP is solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s environmental coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/environment

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Another Michigan city struggles as lead levels remain high in tap water https://blissfield.net/another-michigan-city-struggles-as-lead-levels-remain-high-in-tap-water/ Thu, 04 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/another-michigan-city-struggles-as-lead-levels-remain-high-in-tap-water/ [ad_1] BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Shortly after sunrise on a recent Saturday in Benton Harbor, Michigan, residents began lining up for free bottled water so they could drink and cook without fear the high levels of lead in city tap water. Free water supplies are an integral part of life in the predominantly black […]]]>


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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Shortly after sunrise on a recent Saturday in Benton Harbor, Michigan, residents began lining up for free bottled water so they could drink and cook without fear the high levels of lead in city tap water.

Free water supplies are an integral part of life in the predominantly black city of southwest Michigan, where nearly half of the estimated 10,000 residents live below the poverty line. For three years, tests of its public water system revealed high levels of lead.

It takes time to wait for free bottled water, and some residents are wondering why, in a state that recently faced the Flint water crisis, the problem was not resolved sooner.

“It’s tiring,” said Rhonda Nelson, queuing at a site run by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor.

“I understand what Flint was going through, I really understand it,” she said.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has pledged to spend millions of dollars to replace the city’s main service lines within 18 months – a breakneck pace for a process that often takes decades. For now, residents have been warned not to cook, drink or prepare formula with tap water.

Residents are concerned about what the high levels of lead mean for the health of their families. The problem is also embarrassing and stressful. Drivers line up early at water distribution sites, driving people away from work and families. Bottled water should be used with care so that it does not run out. Even queues have consequences – idling consumes gasoline that drivers have to pay to refuel more often.

Standing in line, LaKeena Crawford worried about the consequences for her 8-year-old daughter, who she saw trying to turn on the water.

“I’m like ‘No!’ Crawford said, adding that she wanted her daughter to understand that lead in water is dangerous. But, “I don’t want to scare him too much.”

Exposure to lead can slow cognitive development, especially in young children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and federal officials say no amount of lead in drinking water is considered safe for their consumption. In recent months, activists have pressed for more immediate and aggressive action, and the state has stepped up its response.

Some wonder if the problem would have been resolved more quickly if the residents of Benton Harbor were more like those of neighboring, predominantly white St. Joseph.

“Sometimes it’s enough to speak out against racism, and that’s what it feels like,” said Ambie Bell, helping distribute water to residents.

There are millions of aging underground lead lines connecting buildings to water pipes across the country, mostly in the Midwest, but also scattered across other states like New Jersey and Massachusetts. Old pipes can become an urgent risk to public health. Newark, New Jersey, experienced prolonged lead water problems which led to the rapid replacement of thousands of lead pipes. The high test results in Clarksburg, West Virginia, sounded the alarm earlier this year. The word Flint is now synonymous with lead water problems.

Digging up and replacing lead service lines is costly, straining tight local budgets. Infrastructure and reconciliation bills pending in Congress include billions to deal with leadline replacement which activists say could make a significant difference.

The lead water problem in Flint began when this town switched its water source to the Flint River as a temporary saving measure without proper treatment, corroding its lead pipes. But Benton Harbor’s water source, Lake Michigan, is considered safe and many other places find their water there, said City Manager Ellis Mitchell.

“Our problem is clearly our own infrastructure,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency identified a series of violations at the Benton Harbor water facility. Federal inspection has found problems so serious that the city must consider relinquishing ownership, the EPA said.

“The people of Benton Harbor have suffered for too long,” EPA administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

Water systems sometimes produce high test results, but in Benton Harbor authorities have been unable to bring them down. The long-term solution is to replace the roughly 2,400 pipes that may contain lead, state officials said.

The city also lacks resources. Previous governors installed emergency managers with broad decision-making power that downsized, and the city’s population shrank, reducing its tax base.

“This results in a ripple effect of reduced technical, managerial and financial capacity at the water plant due to underinvestment in personnel, equipment and training,” said Scott Dean, Door -speaking of the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

After the Flint water crisis, Michigan tightened requirements for lead in drinking water in 2018, boasting that it passed the most protective law in the country. He imposed more stringent requirements for testing water for lead and demanded that old lead service lines be replaced.

Environmental groups and local activists filed a petition on Benton Harbor in September with the EPA, calling for aggressive action. Reverend Edward Pinkney, an activist named on the petition, said if they had not filed a request, an aggressive official response might have taken even longer.

“We couldn’t take it anymore,” said Pinkney.

The Michigan House of Representatives oversight committee held a hearing last month on Benton Harbor. Republican Committee Chairman Steven Johnson asked why the state’s recent response to the city’s main crisis makes it appear to have gone “from zero to 100 miles an hour” even though the problem has persisted for years.

Michigan officials say they have taken the issue seriously.

In 2019, local authorities offered Benton Harbor residents filters designed to reduce the amount of lead in drinking water. Eric Oswald, director of the state’s drinking water division, told the hearing that federal officials are studying the filters to make sure they are working properly. They also worked on controlling corrosion to reduce the amount of lead that enters drinking water through pipes. While the overall lead sampling results are still too high, the proportion of high readings has declined, officials said.

Additionally, outreach efforts from 2018 have included town halls, engagement with the local press, and public notices, officials said. Inspectors, however, hit the city for failing to notify water customers in their water bills of the problem over a one-year period.

Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician and professor at Michigan State University who sounded the alarm bells about Flint. She receives questions from parents to find out if a developmental problem could be related to lead in the water. However, it is extremely difficult to establish a direct link between an individual’s health problem and lead in water.

“This is why lead poisoning has eluded diagnosis, treatment and prevention for so long,” she said, adding that lead exposure is not safe for children and that ‘It’s too early to predict what the long-term impact might be. Lead levels can vary among households, and individuals may respond to exposure differently. The impact may also depend on other factors like poverty, which makes it particularly important to tackle the problem in cities like Benton Harbor, she said.

Marc A. Edwards, a professor at Virginia Tech who specializes in water treatment, said the focus on Benton Harbor highlights a national problem with cities struggling with high lead levels. He said major water crises like Flint erode public confidence in the official management of water systems.

Sylvester Bownes, who wears a prosthetic right leg, said he had been drinking bottled water for years because he didn’t trust the water in Benton Harbor.

Pushing a makeshift cart full of several cases of bottled water half a mile from his home, he said a broken water pipe temporarily cut off the public water supply, so no running water, he not only needed bottled water for drinking, but for basic needs like filling his toilet.

“Water is everything,” Bownes said. “It’s like gold.”

Residents confined to their homes can call a hotline for water, but Bownes said the process is taking too long and is unreliable. State officials said hundreds of people have been added to a list of weekly deliveries. If there are any issues, residents should report them, they said.

Mitchell, the city manager, said last month that customers are charged for water which authorities say can still be used for tasks such as laundry and washing up. He said the city was looking to see if there was any kind of relief about it.

At the Boys & Girls Club, volunteers distributed nearly 2,200 cases at noon.

Nelson, who has daughters of 12 and 14 and a 5-year-old son, said preparing dinner may require 15 to 20 bottles of water. “I hope they fix it soon,” she said.

Greg Johnson, who was the first to stop around 8:15 a.m., said he arrived early so his family’s supplies could be replenished for his daughters, aged 8 and 11.

“It takes two cases in the morning to get them ready for school,” he said. “They have to wash up and stuff. It’s a bit hectic. “

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Michigan city declares state of emergency over lead-contaminated water https://blissfield.net/michigan-city-declares-state-of-emergency-over-lead-contaminated-water-2/ https://blissfield.net/michigan-city-declares-state-of-emergency-over-lead-contaminated-water-2/#respond Fri, 22 Oct 2021 16:07:42 +0000 https://blissfield.net/michigan-city-declares-state-of-emergency-over-lead-contaminated-water-2/ [ad_1] 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 […]]]>


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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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Majority-Black Michigan City Benton Harbor has a water problem that rivals the Flint water crisis https://blissfield.net/majority-black-michigan-city-benton-harbor-has-a-water-problem-that-rivals-the-flint-water-crisis/ https://blissfield.net/majority-black-michigan-city-benton-harbor-has-a-water-problem-that-rivals-the-flint-water-crisis/#respond Tue, 12 Oct 2021 15:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/majority-black-michigan-city-benton-harbor-has-a-water-problem-that-rivals-the-flint-water-crisis/ [ad_1] Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock) The state of Michigan has told a predominantly black city not to use tap water for drinking, bathing or cooking “out of caution” because of lead contamination. Residents of Benton Harbor, three hours west of Detroit, have struggled with poisoned water for at least three years, and experts say state and […]]]>


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Image titled Majority-Black Michigan City Has Water Problem Rivals Flint's Water Crisis

Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

The state of Michigan has told a predominantly black city not to use tap water for drinking, bathing or cooking “out of caution” because of lead contamination. Residents of Benton Harbor, three hours west of Detroit, have struggled with poisoned water for at least three years, and experts say state and local authorities haven’t done enough to help, according to the Guardian.

In 2018, it was discovered that Benton Harbor had a lead contamination of 22 parts per billion (ppb) in its water. This is a figure well above the federal intervention threshold of 15 ppb and above; this number is also higher than that of Flint at the height of its water crisis. To be clear, no level of lead contamination is safe. The reason there is a federal level of action is that the Environmental Protection Agency uses it as a national standard to determine which water supply systems to focus on.

For its part, the state has pledged to expand free water delivery to Benton Harbor and has pledged to comply with federal water regulations. Local activists say their plight is one of environmental injustice and have warned the state about the water crisis for years.

Local activist Reverend Edward Pinkney, head of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, said Michigan was moving in the right direction on the issue, but more needed to be done.

Here’s more from the Guardian:

“You have to call for a state of emergency now,” Pinkney said. “It will get the attention of the people of Benton Harbor.” He also said that the formulation of the latest state measures did not reflect the scale of the crisis. “Tell people the water is not safe,” Pinkney said. “Just tell them”.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, along with Pinkney’s group and several other organizations, have filed a emergency call to the EPA on Sept. 9 demanding federal action. In an Oct. 5 response, the EPA told the petitioners that it is now working with state, county and city to “ensure that there is swift action to meet the public health needs of the community “.

Federal involvement sparked a more assertive state response, according to Cyndi Roper, Michigan’s senior policy counsel for the NRDC.

“It’s clear that the involvement of the EPA is getting things done,” Roper said. “The state has not responded to this for three years in a way that protected residents. It wasn’t until EPA headquarters got involved that we started to see an urgent response.

Following the petition in September, the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) said it would work with other agencies at the state, county and of the Municipality to install water filters in every home in Benton Harbor and provide bottled water to residents – actions that were previously carried out by the Pinkney group and volunteers. Whitmer, meanwhile, signed a budget allocating $ 10 million to replace lead lines in the city.

The biggest challenge will come in replacing the lead lines.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed that the pipes be pulled over five years, but no one knows how the project will be funded. The GOP-controlled legislature only agreed to pay half of the $ 20 million it said it would cost. Then you have Washington, where Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, which would support Michigan’s efforts, stuck on Capitol Hill.

Erik Olson, senior strategic director for health at the NRDC, said any cuts in money that would remove lead pipes would hurt underprivileged residents like those in Benton Harbor. Activists want the time to withdraw pipes to be reduced to one or two years. They cited how Newark, NJ, a much larger city, has replaced its lead pipes at a rapid pace. More … than 20,000 service lines have been deleted since early 2019.

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Haunted Lighthouse, Halloween Trail Among Michigan State Park Fall Events https://blissfield.net/haunted-lighthouse-halloween-trail-among-michigan-state-park-fall-events/ https://blissfield.net/haunted-lighthouse-halloween-trail-among-michigan-state-park-fall-events/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 15:52:14 +0000 https://blissfield.net/haunted-lighthouse-halloween-trail-among-michigan-state-park-fall-events/ [ad_1] LANSING, MICH. – If you missed making a camping reservation for your favorite Michigan state park’s harvest festival this year, don’t worry – several Michigan state parks have seasonal events open to everyone. Many harvest festivals in Michigan State Parks are reserved for registered campers only, but there are opportunities for non-campers to have […]]]>


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LANSING, MICH. – If you missed making a camping reservation for your favorite Michigan state park’s harvest festival this year, don’t worry – several Michigan state parks have seasonal events open to everyone.

Many harvest festivals in Michigan State Parks are reserved for registered campers only, but there are opportunities for non-campers to have Halloween-themed outdoor family fun, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The following events are open to day visitors; Note that the Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into all parks and recreation areas in the state of Michigan.

Haunted Lighthouse Weekend at Tawas Point State Park (East Tawas), October 8-9: This year’s program includes hay rides, children’s games, making corn husk dolls, mini golf, a skee ball, plinko, pumpkin paint, corn hole and the possibility of shopping in the shop of the historic lighthouse museum. Details and program here

Mother Nature’s Halloween Trail at Bay City State Park (Bay City), October 9: Take a guided hike along the pumpkin-lit trail, where you’ll encounter some of Mother Nature’s favorite Halloween animals such as bats, wolves, and spiders (animals are represented by volunteers). There will also be a variety of activities, treats and presentations. Come dressed in your best Halloween. 6 pm-9pm Details here

Harvest Festival at Lake Higgins Nursery and CCC Museum (Roscommon), October 23: Explore the historic buildings of the CCC Museum and Higgins Lake Nursery, and collect candy from each one. Plus, carve a pumpkin, go on a hike, and show off your costume. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. RSVP to reserve pumpkins for carving. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Details and RSVP information here

RELATED:

4 Ways to See the Colors of Fall at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

9 of the most beautiful places for fall color in Michigan

Michigan’s Best Fall Color Outings

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