“As elected officials, we take our responsibility to find a solution to our aging water infrastructure needs very seriously,” Outman said. “The MI Clean Water plan prioritizes our community’s economy, environment, and health, and will provide cleaner, more affordable water to Michigan residents.”
In October, Governor Whitmer announced the MI Clean Water plan to invest $500 million in federal dollars, state bonding authority, and existing state revenues into a comprehensive water infrastructure package. This investment can be made without raising taxes and will support over 7,500 jobs as Michiganders work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills will help ensure that the MI Clean Water plan dollars move quickly into communities in need with less administrative burdens. The Senate Committee on Environmental Quality recently discussed Senate Bills 319 and 320.
“Access to clean drinking water is a necessity and improvements to our aging infrastructure are a pivotal step in confronting this issue head on,” said Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association. “We’re appreciative and eager to work with our legislative partners to invest in this important economic growth and much-needed infrastructure improvements.”
The MI Clean Water plan will work to reduce barriers for communities and provide access to funds for necessary infrastructure upgrades and improvements. The plan includes $207 million in investments directly related to clean drinking water and $293 million in investments related to wastewater management. According to the Michigan 21st Century Infrastructure report, Michigan has an estimated $800-million annual gap in water and sewer infrastructure needs, compiled from decades of deferred maintenance.
Michigan is home to 21 percent of the world’s fresh surface water, yet many residents are not comfortable drinking the water coming from their tap or visiting their local river or lake. Further, investing in infrastructure continues to be a top issue for voters year after year. MI Clean Water will address issues such as lead-laden water service lines, toxic contamination, undersized sewers, failing septic systems, unaffordable water rates, and constrained local budgets.
"Our cities cannot function, and our residents and business cannot achieve a reasonable quality of life, if our roads, bridges, and underground infrastructure are not adequately maintained,” said Bill Wild, Mayor of Westland and President of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees. “I applaud our elected officials for making the investment in local water infrastructure a priority. It is one that will pay dividends to our communities and economy for decades to come."