Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday May 7, 2019

May 7, 2019

Kalamazoo City Hall - file photo
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

A new report finds more sites of PFAS contamination across the country. Kalamazoo City Commissioners approve new regulations on using fireworks. The Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi is recognized for conservation. 

(Kalamazoo Gazette) Kalamazoo City Commissioners have approved new regulations on the use of fireworks in the city. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that the new ordinance approved Monday night, reduces the number of days when consumer grade fireworks can be used to 13. Those include New Year’s Eve, and several days surrounding Independence Day, as well as the weekend of Memorial Day and Labor Day. The ordinance also increases the fine to one-thousand dollars for using fireworks in Kalamazoo on days when they not allowed.

(WCMU) A new report has found that known sites of PFAs contamination have continued to increase across the country. The report, from the Environmental Working Group, found over 600 PFAs contaminated sites nationwide. The group’s 2018 report showed 172 sites. PFAS’s are a family of chemicals that have been found across the state and are linked to health problems including cancer. Michigan has the most contaminated sites at 192, but researchers say that number reflects the robust state testing program for the chemical. The Environmental Working Group is calling for a drinking water standard for PFAS’s of 1 part per trillion - 70 times lower than the current health advisory level.

(Kalamazoo Gazette) Kalamazoo City officials say they want to address a shortage of public restrooms downtown. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that the city commission approved City Manager Jim Ritsema’s recommendation Monday night to pay $107,000 for a “Portland Loo,” a public restroom developed for the west coast city. Initial money to pay for the facility will come from the Foundation for Excellence. The Downtown Economic Growth Authority plans to cover the cost of cleaning and maintaining the facility of about $15,000 a year. The Authority says one loo should be installed as a pilot project, and more could be added if the first one works well.

The Gun Lake Band of Potawatomi will be honored Tuesday in Chicago for its conservation efforts. The Field Museum will present the tribe with the Parker-Gentry Award during its annual Conservation Celebration. The museum says the Gun Lake Band was picked as this year's winner for several conservation efforts in the Great Lakes region. They include re-establishing a habitat for wild rice and reviving the lake sturgeon population in the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids rivers.

(Michigan Radio) Tuesday the State House Judiciary Committee is expected to consider a proposed ban on a medical procedure sometimes used to perform an abortion. Dilation and evacuation, “D and E,” is sometimes used during the second trimester of a pregnancy to perform an abortion, or after a miscarriage. Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she'll veto the legislation if it reaches her desk.

(WDET) Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris says for the planet’s environment to survive President Donald Trump must be defeated in 2020. Harris spoke Monday to a crowd of unionized teachers and nurses during a town hall meeting at Detroit’s Marcus Garvey Academy. Harris, a proponent of the Green New Deal, says a U.S. President should be at the forefront of addressing climate change. But Harris says the Trump White House is downplaying the threat. Harris says if elected she would create policy changes using both executive orders and the bully pulpit of the presidency. The California Senator says she would make raising teachers’ pay and strengthening gun laws immediate priorities.