By ALEXANDER SMITH
Capital News Service
LANSING — Some federal funds triggered by Flint’s water crisis can be used to remove lead from old homes statewide, but a shortage of contractors certified to do the work is an obstacle to getting the job done. “Money’s coming into the state triggered by Flint, but it’ll be used all around the state,” said Mary Sue Schottenfelds, executive director of CLEARCorps Detroit, a nonprofit organization that runs the Lead Safe Homes Program for city residents. “We are in desperate need of lead contractors who are certified and interested in state projects.”
To create more specialists, the state will use $20,000 of federal money to cover training and licensing costs for those looking to get certified in lead removal, said Jennifer Eisner, the public information officer for Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. “Now there’s more of a push to get people certified because there’s going to be a lot of abatement work coming,” said Jay Wagar, senior certification officer of the state’s Healthy Homes Section. Earlier this year, Lansing was awarded $2.3 million in federal funds for lead abatement and Grand Rapids received $2.9 million.