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MDHHS approved for federal funding to remove lead from homes in Benton Harbor

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Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 8:07 PM EDT
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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on Tuesday received approval to allocate existing federal funds toward removal of lead from Benton Harbor homes.

The request was approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance coverage for low-income children. The request was part of the effort to reduce the risk of lead exposure in drinking water while the city replaces all lead service lines.

“Lead abatement in the homes of Benton Harbor residents is an extremely important part of our efforts to protect children from exposure that can result in lifelong health effects,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “These federal dollars allow us to remove lead hazards from homes where children or pregnant women who are enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP live or spend time.”

Funding comes from the CHIP Health Services Initiative, which already pays for lead removal in Flint, Detroit and other eligible Michigan communities. The services provided through these MDHHS programs identify and fix lead hazards including those found in dust, paint, soil and drinking water.

Families living in Benton Harbor can apply for this service by filling out and mailing in an application that is available online. Residents also can call 866-691-5323 to obtain information.

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