Michigan Gets Federal OK to Spend $119M on Lead Abatement

Michigan won federal approval Monday to spend roughly $119 million over five years to remove lead hazards from the homes of low-income residents in Flint and other communities — the second time the state has received a waiver to spend such additional money to respond to the city's tainted water crisis.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services authorized an amendment to Michigan's Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The state will spend $333,000 this fiscal year to obtain a nearly $23.5 million federal match.

Houses, apartments and other residential structures will be eligible for expanded lead abatement services if there is at least one resident under age 19 who qualifies for Medicaid or CHIP or a pregnant woman living there. Eligible properties in Flint, where the water supply was contaminated with toxic lead, will receive priority status. But the state, which has been deemed primarily responsible for the disaster, also will identify other high-risk municipalities.

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