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Report: Fund For Environmental Cleanup Running Out

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - A published report says a fund to clean up thousands of sites around Michigan that are contaminated from prior industrial use is running out of money.

The pool of cleanup money once totaled more than $1.3 billion, but is now down to $11 million. The Detroit News says there are no plans in the works to replenish the fund, known as Michigan’s Part 201 program, even though problems caused by contamination continue to plague communities across the state.

Dan Wyant, director of the state Department of Environmental Quality, said in a statement: “It’s one of the biggest challenges this agency will face in the next five years.” He said the work of the program is “critically important” but also “very expensive.”

Currently, state officials are aware of more than 6,000 contaminated sites throughout the state, but there’s only a few million dollars left to work with. Officials say only those sites that pose an active threat to human health through drinking water, air emissions or soil exposure are likely to be addressed.

Revenue for the fund was generated by bond issues in 1988 and 1998.

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