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Politics & Government

Whitmer rolls out expanded plans to accelerate the replacement of lead lines, other water infrastructure

faucet running water
Marina Shemesh
/
Public Domain

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to use more federal funds to accelerate the replacement of lead lines and other water infrastructure.

Whitmer proposed a $300 million expansion of her earlier clean water proposals. The money would mostly come from American Rescue Plan funds allocated to Michigan.

“Every Michigander in every community deserves access to safe drinking water, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity right now to use the federal dollars we have to put Michiganders first and make lasting investments in our water infrastructure,” she said in a press release.

The Democratic governor has been trying to ramp up pressure on legislative Republicans to approve spending that money before the end of the year. Republicans have offered their own infrastructure proposals.

The governor’s new proposal includes more money to replace lead service lines around the state. That includes money to hire engineering and project management firms, which is a critical but often-overlooked part of the process. There would be a priority for underserved communities. Also, money to help low-income households with money for minor plumbing repairs and to help people with well water contaminated with arsenic or PFAS.

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