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Snyder signs bills to ease shift to 5G wireless technology

• Dec 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to ease the wireless industry's shift to next-generation technology in Michigan.

The laws enacted Wednesday establish statewide regulations and fee limits for the installation of a dense network of "small cells" on telephone poles, traffic signals and other infrastructure.

The measures are backed by carriers such as Verizon and AT&T that want faster internet speeds and more network capacity, but opposed by local governments as an infringement on their ability to recover costs for the use of public rights of way.

Michigan is the 21st state to enact laws that streamline regulations to facilitate the deployment of fifth-generation, or 5G , small cells, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Woman who fatally shot woman during fight won't be charged

TAYLOR (AP) — Prosecutors say a woman who fatally shot another woman inside a suburban Detroit gas station won't be charged in the killing.

Wayne County's prosecutor said Wednesday the 40-year-old woman acted in self-defense in the Nov. 16 killing of Tonya Davidson in Taylor, southwest of Detroit.

The woman who shot and killed Davidson is not being identified since she's not being charged.

The prosecutor's office says Davidson and the woman got into a fight inside the gas station and that Davidson was the aggressor. The woman shot Davidson once and she died later at a hospital.

WJBK-TV reports that the women had known each other for about 15 years and that Davidson, who was a mother of four, had two daughters with a man who fathered one of the shooter's children.

State police excavating human remains found in Lawrence

LAWRENCE — Michigan State Police are investigating human remains found Dec. 12 in a wooded area in Van Buren County.

Lt. Chuck Christensen said an employee from a nearby business reported finding human remains while walking through a wooded area near the 900 block of Crandall Parkway in Lawrence around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. Forensic anthropologists from Western Michigan University are excavating the scene.

The individual has not been identified yet. The scene has been secured while anthropologists work to recover the remains and evidence from the area.

Sgt. Brian Kastelic said it’s not clear if the remains belong to a man or woman, or how long its been in the woods.

Bill seeks $50 million to identify PFAS in U.S.

A bipartisan Congressional bill introduced by a pair of Michigan legislators would dedicate $50 million to finding sites across the United States that may contain PFAS.

U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee and Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives this week to authorize $50 million “to speed up clean-up efforts and protect our communities,” said Kildee, D-Flint Township.

The new legislation would fund the U.S. Geologic Survey, funding a search for the chemicals in water, soil and air. Identifying where the chemicals exist is a first step toward cleaning up contamination, the legislators said.

Multiple states are confronting PFAS contamination, including at closed military installations. Estimates from the Environmental Work Group this year suggest up to 110 million Americans have some PFAS in their drinking water.

“Limited data regarding breadth and scope of PFAS contamination throughout the state and country has left countless families with the feeling of uncertainty when it comes to whether their water is safe for consumption,” Bergman said.

The toxic chemical family of per- and polyfluorinated compounds are connected to several cancers, liver, kidney and reproductive disorders and other health effects. They’ve been used in both consumer products and industrial functions, along with firefighting foam.

PFAS have been found in public water supplies at levels higher than the federal health advisory. They’ve also contaminated both ground water and surface water, creating public health concerns. In Michigan, that includes one municipal water plant shutdown and thousands of people using either in-home water filters or bottled water.

Another emerging issue for Michigan is the amount of PFAS - notably PFOS, among other varieties - flowing unfiltered from manufacturers through wastewater treatment plants and into waterways.

The most recent House bill resembles a bill introduced into the U.S. Senate in August. That bill seeks $45 million to test for PFAS contamination near drinking water sources around the country and develop advanced methods for finding “as many compounds as possible” at lower concentrations. A related bill introduced in the Senate at the same time was called the PFAS Accountability Act, which seeks to expedite cleanups at federal sites.

Both Senate bills were referred to the Committee of Environment and Public Works, where they remain.

With the 115th Congress heading toward completion on January 3, 2019, all of the pending legislation involving PFAS will need to be reintroduced for the new legislators to consider in the next House term. Kildee’s office said that’s expected to happen, but offered no timing plan.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency continues to work on its national PFAS Management Plan, which officials originally planned for fall. During a visit to Kalamazoo in the fall, Peter Grevatt, director of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, said the report’s release still was on track for year-end.

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