Whitmer signs directive to use federal infrastructure bill funds for lead service line replacement

Congress passes legislation to reduce PFAS contamination in Michigan drinking water
Posted at 10:50 AM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 10:50:29-05

(WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday she has signed an executive directive that will prepare the state to use federal infrastructure bill funds to replace lead service lines.

The funds come from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed last week in Congress.

According to the governor's office, Michigan is expected to receive funds specifically for water infrastructure investment. Those funds will be used to replace lead service lines and build up water infrastructure.

“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,” Whitmer said in a release. “With this Executive Directive, we are accelerating the timeline to replace 100% 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"

Under the directive, state departments will be able to take a range of actions to ensure lead service lines get replaced.

The state said it will prioritize in-state businesses and workers, prioritize lead service replacement for communities disproportionately burdened by lead in their drinking water, and more.

“We appreciate Governor Whitmer’s leadership and determination to prioritize water-protection work in the Great Lake State with the new federal infrastructure funds. Michiganders' urgent water needs can’t wait.” said Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW (For Love of Water). “We must use this once-in-a-generation infrastructure investment to replace lead lines, modernize drinking water and sewage plants, and clean up PFAS contamination right away," Liz Kirkwood, the executive director of For Love of Water, said in a statement.

“The number one responsibility of a Plumber is to protect the health of the nation and help every family and community access safe drinking water,” said Jeremy Garza of the Michigan Pipe Trades Association. “The licensed plumbers of the United Association stand ready to help with safe and proper installation and replacement of Michigan’s potable water lines. We will work together to get the job done."