On Thursday (December 2), the Michigan Senate approved $3.3 billion in water infrastructure spending, which will replace lead pipes and repair aging dams throughout Michigan, especially in Metro Detroit, which has been an issue as climate change-related challenges impacted Detroit more than once during summer flooding, WXYZ reported.
The House plans to move to also think about upcoming federal funding — $2.4 billion — including $1.4 billion from the infrastructure law from last month and about $1 billion from the pandemic rescue law passed in March, WXYZ reported.
Sen. Jon Bumstead, a Newaygo Republican and sponsor of the bill, said it was, “A step towards ensuring that our state water infrastructure undergoes transformational improvements that will benefit every Michigander for generations to come.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council said that Michigan has roughly 460,000 lead pipes in the ground (the third-most in the country) and state regulations (which are more challenging post-Flint water crisis) typically require that every line be replaced by 2040. This cost is estimated at $2.5 billion in today’s dollars.
“This is a huge part of that,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas said of the $1 billion, which is more than triple the $300 million for pipe replacements proposed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Communities would not have to contribute matching funds to get a grant, he added, WXYZ reported.
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