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EGLE announces $41.5 million in MI Clean Water grants to help communities upgrade water infrastructure, protect health, environment

Lead service line replacements and other water system upgrades in Detroit, and water treatment system improvements and lead line replacements in Jackson, are among $41.5 million in Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) grants recently awarded to Michigan communities.

The recent MI Clean Water Plan grants, all through EGLE’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), aim to help communities upgrade aging infrastructure to ensure healthy drinking water.

Seventy percent of Michiganders are served by more than 1,000 community wastewater systems and a similar percentage get drinking water from community water systems. Those systems often struggle to find resources to address legacy issues like aging drinking water and stormwater facilities and emerging challenges like new standards for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) “forever chemicals.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature, and federal agencies have ramped up funding for aging water infrastructure – a critical move to help ensure those water systems continue to protect public health and the environment, including Michigan’s unmatched freshwater resources.

More than half of EGLE’s budget has traditionally passed through to Michigan cities, towns, villages, and other local government agencies to finance critical improvements that help them better protect residents and our natural resources.

Grant roundup

Recent grants through the DWSRF:

  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Department for $17,262,795. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department distribution water system improvements project includes the rehabilitation and replacement of cast iron water main pipe and associated lead service lines located east of Livernois Avenue in the Martin Park, Pilgrim Village, University District, and Grixdale Farms neighborhoods.
  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Department for $15,762,827.  The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department distribution water system improvements project includes the rehabilitation and replacement of cast iron water main pipe and associated lead service lines located west of Livernois Avenue in the Warrendale, McDowell, Brightmoor, Claytown, Springwells, Crary/St. Mary’s, and Grandmont neighborhoods.
  • City of Jackson for $8,437,255.  The project includes installation of mechanical jet mixers in the east and west elevated storage tanks, well pump motor replacement, miscellaneous water treatment plant (WTP) projects, water main replacement, and replacement of approximately 1,125 lead service lines. WTP projects include lime and soda ash fill line replacement, drain system replacement, and installation of a return flow meter.

Descriptions of funding sources

  • Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Low-interest loan program to help public water systems finance the costs of replacement and repair of drinking water infrastructure to protect public health and achieve or maintain compliance with federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. The DWSRF provides loans to water systems for eligible infrastructure projects. As water systems repay their loans, the repayments and interest flow back into the DWSRF to support new loans. American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding operates as a grant and may be used in combination with loan dollars to reduce the financial burden on communities to pay for capital improvement debt.
    • ARPA funded grants awarded this fiscal year: $218,398,719.
  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF): Used by local municipalities to finance construction of water pollution control projects. These projects include wastewater treatment plant upgrades and expansions, combined or sanitary sewer overflow abatement, new sewers designed to reduce existing sources of pollution, and other publicly owned wastewater treatment efforts that improve water quality. The CWSRF can also finance stormwater infrastructure projects to reduce nonpoint sources of water pollution caused by things like agricultural runoff to lakes, streams, and wetlands. As with the DWSRF, ARPA funds can be used in conjunction with CWSRF loan dollars, thereby reducing the debt communities pay for infrastructure improvements.
    • ARPA-funded grants awarded this fiscal year: $137,982,009.
  • Drinking Water Asset Management Program: Provides grant funding to assist drinking water suppliers with asset management plan development and updates, and/or distribution system materials inventories as defined in Michigan’s revised Lead and Copper Rule.
    • Awarded this fiscal year: $19,695,817.
  • Consolidation and Contamination Risk Reduction Program: Established to provide assistance to drinking water systems to remove or reduce PFAS or other contaminants.
    • Awarded this fiscal year: $20,336,215.
  • Substantial Public Health Risk Project Program: Protects public and environmental health by removing direct and continuous discharges of wastewater from surface or groundwater.
    • Awarded this fiscal year: $8,000,000.

Additional Background

  • Since January 2019 the State has invested over $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state, supporting over 57,000 jobs.
  • In 2022, Governor Whitmer signed a package of bills to help communities access funding for water infrastructure.

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