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EGLE announces $64.6 million in MI Clean Water grants to help Michigan communities upgrade water infrastructure, protect health and the environment

New water storage tanks in Benton Township, repaired sewer mains in Bellevue, and wastewater plant upgrades in Manistique are among more than $64 million in state grants recently awarded to Michigan communities to protect public health and Michigan’s water resources.

The MI Clean Water Plan grants through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and support from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) aim to help communities upgrade aging infrastructure, ensure healthy drinking water, and protect Michigan’s environment.

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 storm water 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.

“Helping ensure healthy drinking water and safeguarding our Great Lakes and streams is a top priority for EGLE,” said Phil Roos, EGLE director. “The combined targeting of federal, state, and local dollars through these grant programs is helping move the needle on addressing long-overdue maintenance to our local water systems, and is an example of how EGLE and the Whitmer Administration are working to protect and enhance our water resources and public health.”

Grant roundup

Recent grants through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF):

  • Village of Bellevue for $19,728,000.  Bellevue is currently under an Administrative Consent Order (ACO), and the scope of this project aims to bring the village into compliance. Collection system improvements include the replacement of three lift stations, three force mains, and approximately 1,250 feet of gravity sewer. Additionally, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining will be installed for approximately 6,400 feet of structurally deficient sewer mains.  
  • City of Manistique for $18,000,000.  This project is for wastewater treatment plant headworks improvements in the City of Manistique. Work includes expanding the plant raw sewage inlet, raw sewage pumps, screening improvements, and final clarifier dome rehabilitation. Electrical improvements will also be made throughout the plant. 
  • Benton Charter Township for $19,965,000.  This project includes the construction of two new elevated storage tanks, filter capacity improvements at the water treatment plant, new watermain construction, service line verification, and lead service line replacement in Benton Charter Township. Two new elevated storage tanks will be constructed in the high-pressure district on Zoschke Road and in the low-pressure district on Euclid Avenue. Approximately 900 linear feet of 16-inch watermain will be constructed along Fair Avenue from Territorial Road to Edgecumbe Avenue. Approximately 1,600 linear feet of 12-inch watermain will be constructed along East Nickerson Avenue and Nickerson Court from M-139 to Plaza Drive. Approximately 150 lead service lines will be replaced throughout the township.

Affordability and Planning Grants:

These grants provide funding to assist communities in planning and affording water infrastructure needs statewide.

  • City of Escanaba: $457,050
  • Village of Pellston: $500,000
  • City of Saginaw: $500,000
  • Charter Township of Caledonia: $185,000
  • Charter Township of Independence: $441,770
  • City of Muskegon Heights: $118,400
  • Lansing Board of Water & Light: $460,000

Technical, Managerial, and Financial grants:

Additionally, 14 water systems received grants for work in identifying or verifying lead service lines in preparation for replacement. The process to accomplish this effort includes hydrovacing on either side of each curb stop and performing in-building investigation to document service line materials. This project includes applicable restoration to original condition of hydrovaced locations. Hydrovacing involves a piece of equipment using high-pressure water to cut and liquefy the soil, while simultaneously using a high-volume vacuum to remove the soil from the excavation.

Recipients and their respective amounts:

  • City of St. Ignace: $312,650
  • Village of North Branch: $368,000
  • City of Marquette: $600,000
  • City of Evart: $383,000
  • Village of Dundee: $325,335
  • Ford River Township: $160,510
  • Village of Perrinton: $184,845
  • City of Norton Shores: $407,928
  • Village of Armada: $61,020
  • Village of Kingston: $370,000
  • Village of Newberry: $286,339
  • Village of New Lothrop: $270,000
  • Village of Lawrence: $432,000
  • Village of Stockbridge: $112,800

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. 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: 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 storm water 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 aid drinking water systems to help 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 water or groundwater.
    • Awarded this fiscal year: $8,000,000.
  • Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Program: Provides states and territories with grants to public water systems in small or disadvantaged communities to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS.
  • Technical, Managerial, and Financial Grants: Funds for work related to the physical verification of service lines at properties where lead is suspected but not confirmed or where service line material is unknown but likely contains lead.
  • Affordability and Planning Grants: These grants are designed to assist communities in planning and affording water infrastructure improvements including lead service line replacements.

Additional Background

Since January 2019 the State of Michigan has invested over $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, storm water, 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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