May 27, 2024

Today’s MI Environment story is based on a press release issued by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Mike Neller, RRD Director, EGLE Director Phil Roos, and Kirby Shane, director of EGLE's Laboratory Services at groundbreaking for new lab.

Mike Neller, director of EGLE’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division, EGLE Director Phil Roos, and Kirby Shane, director of EGLE’s Laboratory Services, at the recent groundbreaking of the State’s new laboratory. 

 

The state officially broke ground on April 19 on a new, state-of-the-art public health and environmental science laboratory to be constructed at the State Secondary Complex in Dimondale. The new 300,000-square-foot facility will house consolidated lab space for the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS); the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE); and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

The new facility will expand upon and enable testing and other laboratory functions in a safe, secure environment designed to promote efficiency, collaboration, and innovation. The MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories currently provides a wide variety of clinical and environmental public health testing. Its total volume of all testing is close to 7 million tests per year, making it one of the top seven state public health laboratories in the nation. Examples of testing include:

  • Infectious diseases in humans, such as tuberculosis or legionellosis, including more than 400,000 tests annually, as well as processing more than 200,000 specimens, including bioterrorism and chemical terrorism specimens submitted by law enforcement and the FBI.
  • Infectious agents and toxins in materials humans have been exposed to, such as testing for the presence of rabies in a bat that bit someone or testing for toxins from harmful algal blooms. Rabies testing alone saves the state around $30 million by avoiding the administration of unnecessary post exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
  • Every newborn baby in the state gets screened for 58 different potential life-threatening disorders within 36 to 72 hours of birth.
  • More than 500,000 tests to measure biomarkers of chemical exposures in humans, including blood lead testing and testing for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in blood.

“More than 10 million people rely on EGLE to monitor the quality of their air, soil, and water, and we serve as Michigan’s principal drinking water laboratory under the Safe Drinking Water Act,” said EGLE Director Phil Roos. “This new laboratory will increase the speed and efficiency of our handling of more than 100,000 samples and 2.5 million test results that EGLE currently processes every year, which is critical to protecting the public health of all Michiganders.”

The lab is expected to be completed by late 2026 and will feature sustainable design elements, including a geothermal based heating and cooling system, extensive use of daylighting and energy efficient LED lighting, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and cross-laminated timber on the exterior wall panels, which offers high carbon sequestering to help reduce the facility’s carbon footprint. The new building will be maintained and operated by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

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