State Rep. Lower introduces proposal to protect water quality across Michigan

Posted at 8:42 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 20:42:16-04

MICHIGAN (WXYZ) — New plans are being put in place to improve Michigan's water quality.

State Rep. Jim Lower, of Greenville, introduced a plan to modify the state's emergency manager law by replacing the single person emergency management structure with a three-person financial management team. The plan is part of a larger reform package addressing the safety and security of Michigan's drinking water supply.

The bill builds on the recommendations from a 2016 legislative committee. The new three person committee will be made up of one financial expert, one local government operations expert and one local ombudsman.

“This proposal to update the state’s emergency manager law is an important part of a bipartisan effort to keep our state’s drinking water and recreational waterways safe for Michigan families for generations to come,” Lower said. “Michigan families deserve to know the fresh water that defines this great state is safe to drink, bathe in and fish in. This plan helps ensure that government is held accountable to manage public water resources well with a more open and transparent three-person committee.”

In addition to Rep. Lower's plan, House Bills 4753 - 4755, a 30-bill reform proposal, looks at the water quality from all angles. Some of the things the committee will be looking at is improving municipal safeguards and oversight to tightening up environmental protection and conservation.

Ensuring safe drinking water has become a top concern across the state because of the condition of our state’s water infrastructure systems and the detection of PFAS contamination (a global pollutant) at more than 1,100 sites, Rep. Lower noted.

Rep. Lower, who was first elected to the Michigan House in 2016, has been the leader on improving municipal finance since coming into office. He was the force behind the plan to help local governments better manage their finances in 2017.