A state of emergency has been issued for Kalamazoo County due to the ongoing health and safety concerns due to per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination in the drinking water for the city of Parchment and Cooper Township.
This declaration will allow the state to supply additional resources to help with response efforts and ensure the health and safety of residents in Parchment and Cooper Township. State and local officials and members of the community have been working in full partnership to ensure people in the area have safe water in the short, medium and long term.
By declaring a state of emergency, all state resources have been made available, in cooperation with local response and recovery operations. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts.
Problems with the water were discovered on Thursday, July 26, when test results showed the municipal water system in Parchment — which serves approximately 3,100 residents in Parchment and Cooper Township — had an unacceptable level of the nationally emerging contaminants known collectively as PFAS. The testing was conducted as part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s unprecedented and proactive effort to test all water systems for these chemicals, which are starting to emerge in many states across the nation and raising public health concerns.
On Friday, July 27, Kalamazoo County declared a “local state of emergency,” which activated local emergency response and recovery plans. On Saturday, July 28, the county asked the state for a declaration. By requesting a governor’s declaration, the county has determined local resources are insufficient to address the situation and state assistance is required to protect public health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis.
In addition to the emergency declaration, Lt. Gov Calley fully activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). Located at MSP Headquarters in Dimondale, the center is overseen by the MSP/EMHSD and coordinates response and recovery efforts by state agencies and local government. The SEOC is staffed by members of state agencies and other partners for decision making and information coordination during disasters or emergencies in the state of Michigan.
Parchment Water Hotline: 269-373-5346
The Parchment Water Hotline is still operational for residents to call with questions or concerns
Staff from the Health & Community Services Department are on the phones from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Call Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services at 269-373-5200 or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at 800-648-6942 for questions about health.
For DEQ assistance, please email the Environmental Assistance Center or call 800-662-9278.