Andy Schor

Lansing budget would power all city buildings with 100% renewable energy by July

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor proposed a plan March 25 to use 100 percent renewable energy for all city government buildings. This would make Lansing the first city in Michigan to do so. Part of his budget proposal included a plan to buy renewable energy credits from the Lansing Board of Water and Light. “We decided that the city of Lansing should be a leader and should purchase renewable power,” said Schor. “We looked at our budget, and we made this a priority.”

Councilmember Peter Spadafore commended Schor.

Fire chiefs seek rules for disposal of risky firefighting foam

By MAXWELL EVANS
Capital News Service

LANSING — Fifteen years ago, “way before anyone knew” about the dangers of the PFAS chemicals within, the Walker Fire Department purchased a stash of firefighting foam from the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids to be used during training. Now, roughly 100 gallons of foam purchased from the airport — stored in plastic in an unused building — have nowhere to go, said Walker Fire Chief Bob Walker. That makes it crucial that a bill package to limit the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams sets up a clear disposal mechanism for the materials, some fire chiefs say. PFAS chemicals are linked to cancer, immune system dysfunction and issues with child development, according to the National Institutes of Health. They were included in firefighting foams used on fuel or petroleum fires, said Pat Parker, the fire chief of the Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority.

Bill would extend legal protection to libraries that help opioid abusers

By MAXWELL EVANS
Capital News Service

LANSING — Libraries must be protected from lawsuits if their employees administer opioid overdose-reversing drugs, say proponents of legislation that would do so. Naloxone — commonly known in nasal spray form as Narcan — is non-addictive and can completely reverse the effects of an overdose, said Larry Wagenknecht, the chief executive officer of the Michigan Pharmacists Association. The drug displaces the opioid from receptor sites on cells, meaning the opioid is still in the body but will no longer have an effect. The bill package, sponsored by Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, would extend “Good Samaritan” legal protection to libraries when a staff member administers naloxone to someone they believe to be overdosing. Individual staff members are protected under the Good Samaritan laws, but not libraries as an institution.