Michigan receives $500 million investment to rebuild water infrastructure

LANSING, Mich. (UC) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Oct. 1 announced MI Clean Water, a $500 million plan to address water infrastructure investments to Michigan’s water systems.

“The MI Clean Water investment will help us rebuild Michigan’s water infrastructure and will prioritize and invest directly into protecting our public health, environment, and economy,” Governor Whitmer said. “The MI Clean Water Plan is a critical part of the solution, but the work cannot stop here. I look forward to working with the legislature to find creative solutions to address our water infrastructure backlog. Everyone must remain committed to ensuring that every Michigander has access to clean water." 

The MI Clean Water investment is a unified approach to cleaner, more affordable water. This provides direct investments for communities, helps provide safe, clean water to residents, and will support over 7,500 Michigan jobs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

MI Clean Water confronts the large infrastructure issues that Michigan faces, such as lead-laden water service lines, toxic contamination like Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), undersized sewers, failing septic systems, unaffordable water rates, and constrained local budgets. MI Clean Water will reduce barriers for communities and allow them to access needed funds for necessary and timely infrastructure upgrades.

This historic investment includes a proposal combining federal dollars for lead service line replacement in low-income communities ($102.1 million) with bonding authority for water quality protection ($290 million), one-time General Fund appropriation for drinking water infrastructure and innovation ($105 million), and asset management grants ($2.9 million) to help communities develop, update, and improve their plans for wastewater and stormwater systems resulting in a comprehensive water infrastructure investment of $500 million in Michigan’s water systems. The MI Clean Water investment will be done without raising the taxes of Michiganders.

A $207.1 million investment in drinking water quality includes Lead Service Line Replacement in Disadvantaged Communities Program - $102 million; Lead and Copper – Drinking Water Asset Management Grants - $37.5 million; PFAS and Emerging Contaminants - Contamination and Consolidation Grants - $25 million; Non-Lead Drinking Water Infrastructure Grants - $35 million; and Affordability and Planning Grants - $7.5 million.

A $293 million investment in wastewater protection includes Clean Water Infrastructure Grants (eliminating sanitary sewer overflows; correcting combined sewer overflows; increasing green infrastructure) - $235 million; Substantial Public Health Risk Grants (removing direct and continuous discharges of raw sewage from surface or ground water) - $20 million; Failing Septic System Elimination Program - $35 million; and Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater Grants - $3 million.

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