Bumstead introduces major investment in water quality, dams and environment

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, on Thursday introduced legislation to fund meaningful investments in the state’s water infrastructure and environment.

“Clean water and protecting our environment, especially our Great Lakes, has always been a legislative priority,” said Bumstead, who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. “Over the years, my office has had numerous discussions with constituents and worked closely with stakeholders to determine where improvements need to take place and how funds can be used more effectively. This legislation invests in actionable items and uses funding already appropriated by the federal government instead of asking taxpayers for more.”

Senate Bill 565 would provide $680 million for the creation of grant and loan programs to repair the most critical of Michigan’s dams — a move Bumstead calls crucially important toward mitigating or avoiding costly catastrophes like what Midland experienced in 2020.

“These programs are a major investment in not only community safety, but the safety and reliability of the state’s dams,” Bumstead said. “Maintenance is always cheaper than repairs.”

Included in the funding measure is a $600 million matching grant program 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. The plan also addresses the harmful impacts of PFAS chemicals and would dedicate $100 million in grants to remove the chemicals from “orphaned” sites.

Bumstead’s legislation also prioritizes the needs of Michigan’s unique and abundant natural resources.

The plan would repurpose $290 million in bonds to assist communities with upgrading and replacing water treatment infrastructure, along with establishing a revolving loan program for homeowners to replace failing septic systems.

Also included is an additional $25 million to conduct surface water monitoring, including $10 million for wetland mitigation, and $20 million to implement recommendations included in the Groundwater Use Advisory Council Report.

“Clean drinking water and taking care of our environment aren’t partisan issues,” Bumstead said. “This one-time federal funding will be a great asset as we work toward a cleaner, safer Michigan.”

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