Michigan Senate approves $3.3B water infrastructure bill

LANSING — The Michigan Senate on Thursday unanimously approved $3.3 billion in water infrastructure spending to replace lead pipes and repair aging dams around the state while also sending money to a Detroit-area system that has struggled with flooding blamed on climate change.

The House will next consider the massive influx of aid, likely in the new year. It includes about $2.4 billion in federal funding — $1.4 billion from the infrastructure law enacted last month and nearly $1 billion from the pandemic rescue law passed in March.

Sen. Jon Bumstead, a Newaygo Republican and sponsor of the spending bill, called it “a step towards ensuring that our state water infrastructure undergoes transformational improvements that will benefit every Michigander for generations to come.”

Senators initially proposed $600 million to replace service lines that can leach lead into drinking water if the supply isn’t properly treated. They upped it to $1 billion following the passage of the federal infrastructure bill. Benton Harbor currently is grappling with elevated lead levels in homes.

The Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that Michigan has 460,000 lead pipes in the ground, which would be the third-most in the country.


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