Michigan invests federal funds to help communities protect drinking water

Michigan invests federal funds to help communities protect drinking water

By Kyle Kaminski

January 9, 2024

Nearly $18 million was awarded this month to upgrade the water infrastructure in four communities. State officials said the funds will protect the environment, as well as ensure Michiganders have access to clean drinking water.

MICHIGAN—Seven in ten Michiganders rely on a community wastewater system, and a similar percentage get their drinking water from community water systems, according to state officials. 

Those communities, however, often struggle to find the resources to fix their aging drinking water and stormwater facilities, and can be underprepared for new challenges—like new standards for toxic, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals.”

But this year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Democrats in the state Legislature, and federal agencies are working to fix the problem—namely by increasing funding to improve water infrastructure, including by upgrading wastewater management systems and replacing lead service lines.

“Every community deserves reliable water infrastructure that meets their needs,” Whitmer said in a statement.  “Let’s work together to rebuild our water infrastructure, supporting good-paying jobs and revitalizing communities along the way, so anyone can make it in Michigan.”

Nearly $18 million in grants were awarded this week through Whitmer’s MI Clean Water Plan, using funds awarded to Michigan from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. 

State officials said the grant funds are part of more than $4 billion that the state of Michigan has invested since 2019 to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater systems statewide, including nearly $600 million for water infrastructure that was included in the latest state budget.

Among the projects picked to receive funds this month:

  • The city of Eastpointe received $10 million to replace 1,100 lead water service lines.
  • Chesterfield Township received $5 million for the second phase of its sewer rehabilitation project, which is set to use cured-in-pipe pipe lining to prevent groundwater from leaching into the system and extend the life of the sewer system by about 50 years.
  • The Village of Eau Claire received $1.87 million to upgrade its wastewater systems. 
  • The Lake Mitchell Sewer Authority received $849,000 to upgrade its wastewater collection system, including upgrades to pump stations and repairing damaged pipelines.

READ MORE: 9 Michigan communities score state grants to protect drinking water

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Follow Political Correspondent Kyle Kaminski here.

Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

CATEGORIES: INFRASTRUCTURE
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