Whitmer pushes through $290 million expansion to MI Clean Water Plan

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Posted at 11:01 AM, Apr 22, 2024

LANSING, Mich — Michigan is adding $290 million in infrastructure investments to the MI Clean Water Plan, says Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office.

The funding comes from the Great Lakes Water Quality Protection Bond approved by voters in 2002. Municipal and community water systems will be eligible to apply for low-interest loans to help public water suppliers ensure safe and clean drinking water.

“Every family in Michigan deserves access to safe drinking water and to know that we are protecting our lakes—both Great and small,” said Governor Whitmer.

The expansion aims to fund lead service line removals, rehabilitation and upgrades to drinking water and wastewater plants, and improvements to sewer systems. According to the governor's office most water systems in the state are over 50 years old, with many nearing the century mark.

Reports cited by the Governor claim Michigan is short on water upgrades by as much as $1.1 billion each year.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for every $1 million invested in water infrastructure, 15 jobs are created, and studies have shown a $6 return for every dollar invested in water infrastructure.

"Ensuring access to affordable, clean drinking water and safeguarding our Great Lakes is a top priority for Michiganders," said Philip Roos, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. "That’s why we’ve leveraged billions in state and federal funds to assist Michigan communities in upgrading their water infrastructure, but there’s more work to do."

Since the start of 2019, the state has invested $4 billion into upgrading water systems, but leaders say more is needed. In Fiscal Year 2024 EGLE provided a record $1.7 billion for local water system projects, but other requests totaling more than $3 billion went unfilled.