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WUPHD Approves New Health Code

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department board has approved the new regional health code. 

Citizens expressed a wide range of opinions on the document during a public hearing last night. Contractors who install septic and sewage systems generally agreed that the new regulations will help when creating new developments in the region.

Matthew Johnson of Infiltrator Water Technologies in Walker, Michigan, said that the new code, with local decision makers empowered, would provide flexibility for challenging projects…

I’ve been working with Mike Lamotte up at Eagle River, who has a small boutique hotel and a small restaurant, and he’s stuck. He has nothing that will pass the Michigan subsurface criteria from 1994, and with some new technologies that are available in the marketplace, and local health department help, we would be able to get him a system that will function.

Some speakers rehashed old complaints about the department’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others brought up more germane concerns about language and definitions.

With those in mind, the board reviewed the document during its regular meeting. After lengthy discussion, and with consultation from health officer Kate Beer and medical director Dr. Robert Van Howe, some changes were made before the board gave its approval.

The document will be forwarded to the member counties – Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Ontonagon and Gogebic – for their review.

All of the other counties in the Upper Peninsula have already adopted a very similar code.

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