Michigan's Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy provided information today on action its taking "right now" to assist Benton Harbor citizens with its drinking water quality issues.
From EGLE spokesperson Scott Dean Wednesday, Sep 22.
The multi-agency team of EGLE, MDHHS and county health is in action to get people the help they need right now while also making lasting, structural investments in the state’s water infrastructure system. Following are actions that are currently underway in the short-term to ensure Benton Harbor residents have the support and resources they need:
• A residential door-knocking program is being launched to provide assurance that every household in Benton Harbor has been visited and offered a free water filter as part of an enhanced filter distribution effort. The plan is to complete this effort by October 8, 2021.
• Bottled water will also be provided for distribution within the community until this assurance work around filters is completed October 8, 2021.
• An expanded public education and community outreach campaign to increase awareness of the city’s current water quality and the availability of water filters and resources for residents will also be rolled out to better inform Benton Harbor residents.
• By the end of October, health officials have committed to developing a longer term plan to ensure public health resources are available to support resident health and wellness, including access to lead mitigation measures and blood-lead level testing for adolescents and children 6 and younger.
MDHHS will establish an ongoing ‘Water Ambassadors Program’ to recruit trusted non-government community members to assist with individual outreach at a grass roots level to help build trust with the community.
Chicago-based environmental journalist