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Michigan Governor Announces $290M to Rebuild Water Infrastructure, Supporting 4,350 Jobs

LANSING, MI — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announce a $290 million expansion of the MI Clean Water Plan, utilizing existing authority from the bipartisan, voter-approved 2002 Great Lakes Water Quality Protection Bond. These resources will help communities across the state ensure safer, cleaner, and more affordable drinking water and water management resources for their residents through an expansion of the state’s low interest loan offerings.

“Every family in Michigan deserves access to safe drinking water and to know that we are protecting our lakes — both Great and small,” Whitmer said. “That is why I am proud to announce that we are supporting communities across Michigan with $290 million of existing, voter-approved authorizations to keep building up water infrastructure under our MI Clean Water Plan. Since I took office, we have invested over $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities, supporting 57,000 good-paying jobs, but we know we still have more work to do. I will work with anyone to get more shovels in the ground and build or repair critical water infrastructure. Together, let’s protect access to clean drinking water, lower water bills for families and communities, and fight for our most precious natural resource.”

This newly available financing supports critical water infrastructure projects like lead service line removals, rehabilitation and upgrades to drinking water and wastewater plants, improvements to sewer systems, and more. The money will be split between the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and will be available through loans and low interest financing this year.

Since January 2019, the State of Michigan has invested more than $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state. But even these significant investments are not enough to meet the needs of Michigan communities. The need from communities across the state is substantial. In fiscal year (FY) 2024 EGLE provided historic financing and funding opportunities to communities, but was still only able to fund $1.7 billion of over $5 billion in community requests. This funding shortfall will continue in FY 2025, where the department received over $3.5 billion in project requests from communities but expects to have less than $720 million available after exhausting significant one-time federal resources. Most of the state’s water systems are over 50 years old, and a significant portion are approaching 100 years of service life. Recent reports have highlighted that Michigan has an annual gap of between $860 million to $1.1 billion in water infrastructure needs due to decades of deferred maintenance.

“Every family deserves to have confidence that their drinking water is safe and that our world-class waters are protected,” said Phil Roos, EGLE Director. “Ensuring access to affordable, clean drinking water and safeguarding our Great Lakes is a top priority for Michiganders. 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. These additional resources will provide an additional tool in the state’s toolbox to ensure we continue to make progress on rebuilding and modernizing our water infrastructure.”

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"Michigan's commitment to leveraging federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law underscores our dedication to safeguarding our precious water resources," said Zachary Kolodin, Michigan's Chief Infrastructure Officer and Director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office. "With support from President Biden and our representatives in Washington, Michigan has applied for and won hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that directly benefits our local communities. By investing in our water infrastructure, we're ensuring access to clean water for families and preserving the beauty of our lakes so generations of Michiganders can enjoy our state's natural resources."

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.

"The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association applauds the governor for her continued leadership on investing in Michigan's infrastructure,” said Rob Coppersmith, Executive Vice President of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association. “These critical funds will help communities make much-needed repairs on aging water and sewer infrastructure systems that all Michiganders rely on. We look forward to working with Michigan's leaders on finding a long-term funding solution to ensure the strength and reliability of these vital infrastructure systems for generations to come.”

Additional Water Infrastructure Actions
  • Invested over $4 billion through the MI Clean Water Plan, supporting over 57,000 jobs, helping communities remove lead service lines, reduce toxic contaminants like PFAS, rehabilitate water plants, rebuild sewers, and more
  • Established health-based standards for PFAS and the strongest Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water in the country
  • Signed a bipartisan legislation to help communities access funding for water infrastructure and ensure the communities in most need receive support
  • Signed bipartisan legislation to ensure children in schools and childcare centers have access to clean drinking water
  • Signed an executive directive to improve drinking water protections
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