State Representative Chris Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids Township) today supported legislation, for which he advocated, which will make critical investments to help address growing public concerns over PFAS contamination in Kent County and across the state. The expedited appropriation bill will help the State of Michigan address PFAS contamination.
Rep. Afendoulis spoke in support of the bill from the House floor. “Over the past few months, I’ve spent a great deal of time learning about this issue, meeting with concerned citizens, public health officials, scientists, and elected officials to help develop a plan which will address this critical issue,” Afendoulis said. “I think most of my fellow legislators would agree that we have no greater responsibility than to protect the public health of our constituents.”
The legislation provides over $23 million that will be used in statewide efforts, and significant resources will go toward supporting the ongoing work being done in Kent County. Some of the most notable parts of the package include:
Funding to support the efforts of county health departments (including the Kent County Health Department)
Financial assistance which will go toward remediating known contaminated sites
Investments in upgrades to existing state laboratories. Currently, all testing for PFAS must be done at out-of-state labs, and the results take weeks to process. These investments will allow for testing in Michigan and will give concerned residents and state and local leaders more timely information.
Funding to increase boots-on-the-ground efforts at 14 confirmed contamination sites across the state, including sites in northern Kent County.
Rep. Laura Cox (R-Livonia), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, applauded Afendoulis’ effort. “Rep. Afendoulis’ input has been invaluable in this process, and he has been a tremendous advocate on behalf of his constituents,” Cox said. “As we continue to address this state-wide issue, we are fortunate to have legislators like Rep. Afendoulis working toward real solutions.”
“This package represents a big step forward, and I am encouraged by the progress we made today,” Afendoulis added. “However, our work is far from finished. I won’t be satisfied until all of my constituents have access to the highest quality drinking water possible.”