November 2020 Vol. 75 No. 11


Michigan Governor Announces $500 Million Water Infrastructure Plan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced a $500 million plan to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in Michigan that includes actions such as replacing lead service lines and removing chemical pollutants.  

The initiative, dubbed MI Clean Water, would draw on a variety of sources, including federal funds and state-issued bonds. Legislative approval is required for the use of some targeted funding, but officials said no new appropriations or tax increases would be needed. 

The plan would spend $207.1 million on drinking water improvements including replacing lead service lines in disadvantaged communities; removing PFAS chemicals; and treating water to meet government standards for lead and copper. 

An additional $293 million for wastewater protection would fund grants for projects intended to prevent sewer overflows and discharges of raw sewage from surface or ground water, make use of green infrastructure and eliminating failing septic systems. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the program would help the city expand a water main replacement initiative and replace 2,000 additional lead service lines. 

Drinking water quality has been a primary concern in Michigan in recent years with the discovery of lead contamination in Flint and other cities, as well as chemical compounds known as PFAS that raise a variety of health concerns.

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