Peters Announces $1 Million in Federal Funding for PFAS Study in Western Michigan

Peters Supported State Application for Funds to Conduct PFAS Study in Parchment/Cooper Township & North Kent County

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced a $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to conduct a PFAS health study examining contaminated sites in western Michigan. The grant will be awarded to the Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services to conduct experiments at sites in Parchment, Cooper Township and North Kent County. The study aims to help researchers gain a better understanding of the relationships between PFAS contamination and certain illnesses, and to promote awareness of the health risks PFAS poses to communities in Michigan and throughout the nation. Peters wrote a letter to the CDC in April in support of the Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services application for this funding.

“Communities in West Michigan have been devastated by PFAS contamination, and that’s why I worked to support our state’s effort to secure this federal grant to fully understand the health impacts of PFAS,” said Senator Peters. “I will continue working in a bipartisan manner to ensure that this crisis is addressed.”

“Since the City of Parchment and Cooper Township were ‘ground zero’ for PFAS contamination last year, I am thrilled two municipalities in Kalamazoo County have been awarded much needed funds to assess exposure to our residents,” said Julie Rogers, Kalamazoo County Board Chair. “The health and safety of our residents is very important.”

“The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department is pleased that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has successfully been awarded the ATSDR grant funding for the Multi-Site PFAS Health Study grant,” said James A. Rutherford, Health Officer, Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department. “We are looking forward to working directly with our state partners throughout this process. Since the discovery of PFAS Contamination in the Parchment Water Supply, our agency has received a significant amount of questions from the Parchment and Cooper Township Residents as it relates to short and long-term health issues.  It is our hope that the results of this study will help provide science based answers to these questions and to further our understanding of PFAS exposure.”

“The Kent County Health Department looks forward to contributing to this national health study,” said Dr. Adam London, Administrative Health Officer, Kent County Health Department. “The health information contributed by people impacted by contaminated ground water in Northern Kent County, will advance the scientific evidence about the health effects of PFAS. What is learned will help all communities and health professionals nationwide make better decisions about how to protect the health of the public for generations to come.”

The joint CDC-ATSDR study will enroll approximately 6,000 adults and 2,000 children in seven different sites across the nation to help PFAS-affected communities assess their risk to certain health effects, specifically lipid metabolism, kidney function, thyroid disease, liver disease, glycemic parameters, diabetes and weaker immune response. The research at each site will specifically investigate the health outcomes among the test subjects who are most-at risk to PFAS contaminated drinking water.

Peters has led numerous efforts in Congress to address PFAS contamination in Michigan and around the country. Peters secured provisions through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 to help address PFAS that passed the Senate in June. Included were provisions to prevent the Department of Defense (DOD) from buying firefighting foams that contain PFAS after October 1, 2022, and to encourage DOD to finalize cooperative agreements with states to address PFAS contamination originating from DOD activities. This measure is similar to bipartisan legislation that Peters introduced in May with Senator Debbie Stabenow and other colleagues. Peters also supported an amendment included in the legislation that would require the EPA to issue drinking water standards for PFAS within two years.