LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Thursday joined several Senate Republicans in introducing legislation to fund meaningful investments in the state’s water infrastructure and toward protecting Michigan’s natural resources.
“This one-time federal funding will help improve public safety by repairing failing dams across the state, while also making major investments to improve access to clean drinking water and protecting the environment,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “These funds will allow us to make substantial upgrades and improvements to the state’s water infrastructure using existing revenue rather than raising taxes on Michigan workers.”
Senate Bill 565 would designate $600 million for the replacement of lead pipes across the state, $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities and $85 million to ensure students have access to safe water by installing filtered water stations inside schools. It would also repurpose $290 million in bonds to assist communities with upgrading and replacing water treatment infrastructure, along with establishing loan program for homeowners seeking to replace failing septic systems.
The bill also includes $680 million to repair Michigan’s critical dams.
Under the bill, the continuous effort to protect groundwater and the environment will receive a boost that includes an additional $15 million to conduct surface water monitoring, $10 million for wetland mitigation, and $20 million to implement recommendations included in the Groundwater Use Advisory Council Report. The plan also addresses the harmful impacts of PFAS chemicals and would dedicate $100 million in grants to remove the chemicals from “orphaned” sites.
“Protecting our natural resources and drinking water are two issues I think most can agree on,” Nesbitt said. “We’ve made a great deal of progress monitoring, cleaning up and improving access to clean water in recent years. These funds will provide a major boost to these efforts and improve our knowledge and ability to manage our resources.”