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Whitmer announces 'historic' $500M investment to rebuild Michigan's water infrastructure

'MI Clean Water' will provide clean, affordable water to Michiganders, direct investments into communities and support over 7,500 clean water-based jobs.

LANSING, Mich. — On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a $500 million comprehensive water infrastructure investment in Michigan's water systems from source to tap.

The MI Clean Water plan marks a significant investment after decades of underinvestment in Michigan's infrastructure, according to a release from the state.

“Since the first day I took office, I have made an unwavering commitment to ensuring that Michiganders have access to clean and affordable water. The MI Clean Water Plan marks a significant step toward that goal,” Whitmer said in the release. “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. 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 in the state. It will provide 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 will confront some of 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. According to the release, MI Clean Water will reduce barriers for communities and allow them to access needed funds for necessary and timely infrastructure upgrades.  

The historic investment includes a proposal combining $102.1 million in federal funding for lead service line replacement in low-income communities with $290 million in bonding authority for water quality protection, and a one-time General Fund appropriation for $105 million for drinking water infrastructure and innovation, and asset management grants of $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, including:  

  • 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  
  • Affordability and Planning Grants - $7.5 million  

 A $293 million investment in wastewater protection, including: 

  • 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  
  • Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater Grants - $3 million 

“It’s time for the legislature to take bold actions to invest in Michigan’s infrastructure and protect our water from toxic contamination. I'm calling on the legislature to authorize EGLE to use the remainder of the voter-approved 2002 Great Lakes Water Quality bond during this legislative session,” Whitmer continued in the press release. “Michiganders are tired of waiting for action, the time is now. We must all work together to improve the quality of the waters of our State.” 


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