2017-11-16 / News Briefs

In brief

Action team to enhance coordination in response to nationally emerging contaminant

LANSING — Michigan and a growing list of states are dealing with a nationally-emerging contaminant. To escalate Michigan’s response, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a directive establishing the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART). The directive is designed to ensure a comprehensive, cohesive and timely response to the continued mitigation of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

For more than 50 years, PFAS chemicals have been widely used in industrial applications and on military bases. The science surrounding potential public health effects is still evolving, but the use of these chemicals is declining and research on how to deal with the contaminants is developing. PFAS chemicals have been identified in locations internationally. In Michigan, there are sites across the state where products that used PFAS were disposed of improperly or used for applications that were not known at the time to be a public health risk.

The state has created a website where the public can find out information about PFAS contamination and the coordinated efforts currently underway to address it in Michigan. The site will be continually updated as additional information becomes available. The website address ishttp://michigan.gov/pfasresponse. — L.R.

Veterans’ benefits accessed in Michigan up 40 percent

LANSING – Benefits that could be utilized by Michigan veterans has increased by 40 percent in recent years, meaning more veterans are receiving the benefits they deserve, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced last week.

Michigan has shown an increase in federal VA dollars received as well as the percentage of state’s veterans receiving benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures.

“Michigan is home to more than 608,000 veterans and we owe our very freedoms to them for serving to keep us safe,” Calley said. “We’ve been working hard for our veterans and I’m pleased to see the amount of benefits and resources increasing significantly in our state.”

In just six years, the value of benefits that could be accessed by Michigan veterans has gone up from $2.4 billion in 2010 to more than $4 billion in 2016. The amount of VA dollars for compensation and pension benefits has also increased by roughly 55 percent since 2012. Data also shows that the number of Michigan veterans connected to federal benefits has increased by 50 percent between 2012 and 2016, but still only 18 percent of Michigan veterans are receiving benefits. “We still have too few veterans taking advantage of the benefits they’ve earned for their sacrifices. We encourage veterans to call 800-MICHVET today to find out what’s available to you,” Calley continued. Veterans or families can call the Michigan Veterans Resource Service Center at 800-MICH-VET or visit MichiganVeterans.com for assistance with any veterans issue. — L.R.

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