Michigan’s governor ordered state departments and agencies to work with the state legislature to find ways to use money from the recently passed infrastructure bill to fix lead pipes in drinking water systems.
Earlier this month, Benton Harbor residents were told not to use their drinking water because of lead contamination.
In an executive directive, the governor called for collaboration in preparing how to use money directed at water infrastructure included in the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Right now, we have an incredible opportunity to put Michiganders first by using the funds we will be getting under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to ensure every community has safe drinking water,” said governor Gretchen Whitmer in a prepared statement. “With this Executive Directive, we are accelerating the timeline to replace 100 percent of lead service lines in Michigan, prioritizing communities that have been disproportionately impacted, fostering enhanced collaboration across departments, and ensuring that the projects are built by Michigan workers and businesses.”
What action the Michigan executive directive requests
- Putting Michigan workers and businesses first, prioritizing in-state businesses and workers as work to upgrade water infrastructure continues.
- Prioritizing lead service line replacement for communities that have been disproportionately burdened by lead in their drinking water and communities that require financial or technical assistance to utilize water infrastructure dollars.
- Helping local communities build infrastructure efficiently, using the "dig once" principle to complete work on water, high-speed internet, the road, and other utilities simultaneously wherever possible.
- Finding opportunities to layer in flooding resiliency to water infrastructure, incorporating lessons learned from this summer's historic floods.
- Working with community colleges, trade associations, and unions to train new craftsmen that will build infrastructure, creating good-paying jobs.
Source: Michigan Governor