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$2M in grants to help Michigan communities address lead, other water quality issues

The Drinking Water Asset Management grants are available to assist water supplies in asset management plan development or updates.
FILE. Lead pipe.
FILE. Lead pipe.(WBAY)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 12:40 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - More than $2 million in grants awarded recently under the umbrella of the MI Clean Water plan will assist water supplies in asset management plan development or updates, and/or distribution system materials inventory as defined in Michigan’s Lead and Copper Rule.

The grants, issued through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), are among a suite of grants that support work including replacing lead service lines, enhancing water affordability plans, and connecting homes with contaminated drinking water wells to safe community water supplies.

The MI Clean Water plan is a $500 million investment announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year to rebuild the state’s water infrastructure to help provide clean, affordable water to Michiganders through investments in communities.

It addresses water 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.

The Drinking Water Quality portion of this historic investment has already been approved and includes federal dollars for lead service line replacement in low-income communities ($102.1 million) and General Fund programs that address PFAS or other contaminants, planning and/or rate studies, asset management plan development, and lead service line identification ($105 million). The governor continues to advocate for the Wastewater Protection program that would be funded through existing bonding authority ($293 million).

More than half of EGLE’s budget is funneled to Michigan communities in the form of financial assistance to help address water infrastructure and other environmental- and health-protection efforts.

“With renewed focus on lead in Michigan’s aging drinking water service lines and plumbing these grants are helpful in giving communities the tools they need to fix the problem,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “Funding for work like the materials distribution inventory will help water systems positively identify which water service lines are made of lead and which are not – a critical step in removing all lead lines completely.”

The Drinking Water Asset Management (DWAM) grant is available to assist water supplies in asset management plan development or updates, and/or distribution system materials inventory as defined in Michigan’s Lead and Copper Rule.

The Affordability and Planning (AP) grant is available to any community water supply and local unit of government, including counties, townships, cities, villages and others to assist in planning and/or rate studies.

The Consolidation and Contamination Risk Reduction (C2R2) grant funds projects that remove or reduce PFAS or other contaminants, as defined under state or federal drinking water regulations, or efforts to consolidate systems or connect private residential wells to a local municipal system.

October grants were all awarded through the DWAM grant program:

  • Tilden Township— $108,200
  • City of Pinconning — $219,910
  • City of Hudson — $296,024
  • City of Ferndale — $399,700
  • City of Muskegon Heights — $615,900
  • Charter Township of Royal Oak — $329,780
  • City of Battle Creek — $155,014

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