Outman supports Senate plan to invest in water quality, dams and natural resources
LANSING, Michigan – State Senator Rick Outman voted Thursday in favor of legislation that includes more than $ 3 billion to fix public water systems and critical dams and protect Michigan’s environment and natural resources .
âThis is a major investment in the future of our state,â said Outman, R-Six Lakes, who chairs the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. âThe bill uses existing state and federal resources to assist with repairs or upgrades in communities across the state. If signed by the governor, the bill will be a big step forward for public health and safety. “
Senate Bill 565 would use $ 2.37 billion in federal funding, $ 680 million in state resources, and $ 290 million in reallocated government bond funds to improve or repair aging dams in government, modernize sanitation systems and groundwater protection efforts, and help ensure residents have access to safe drinking water. .
The legislation provides $ 1 billion to replace lead pipes statewide; $ 700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities; $ 100 million in grants to remove PFAS chemicals from “orphan” sites and $ 85 million that will help ensure students have access to safe drinking water in school.
The plan would reallocate $ 290 million in bonds to help communities upgrade and replace water treatment infrastructure; establish a homeowner loan program to replace failed septic systems; and devote money to private well users, including grants to help connect to a community water supply system or increase the depth of their well if their water becomes contaminated or their well fails afterwards. a disaster. Funding is also included to conduct surface water monitoring and implement recommendations included in the Groundwater Use Advisory Council report.
SB 565 would also designate $ 680 million for dam upgrades across the state. Funding is provided for projects prioritizing dam risk reduction, state emergency response efforts, and a dedicated grant program for dam rehabilitation or removal.
âMaking sure people have clean drinking water and being good stewards of the environment is something I think we are all trying to accomplish. It’s not a problem one way or the other, âOutman said. âUsing these funds rather than raising taxes will get us to the same finish line without shifting the burden onto already overwhelmed people.
âSolving these issues and making the necessary repairs or upgrades now could save a lot of money down the road as we work towards a cleaner, safer Michigan. “
SB 565 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.