LaSata supports major investments in water quality, dam repairs and natural resource protection

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kim LaSata on Thursday supported legislation that would invest more than $3 billion for upgrades and repairs to local water systems and efforts to protect Michigan’s dams and natural resources.

Senate Bill 565 would use $2.37 billion in federal funding, $680 million in state resources and $290 million in repurposed state bond funds to help ensure residents have access to clean drinking water, upgrade community wastewater systems, fund groundwater protection initiatives and fix critical dams in need of repair.

“This legislation uses existing state and federal funds, rather than raising taxes on Michigan families, to make a variety of much-needed improvements in every corner of the state, said LaSata, R-Coloma. “Communities will be able to make substantial upgrades to their public water systems and the state will have additional resources to preserve and clean up the environment and improve public safety by making necessary repairs to dams across the state.”

Included in the funding is $1 billion for the replacement of lead pipes across the state and $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities. The plan would also allow communities to access $290 million in bonds to help avoid or clean up pollution, help ensure students have access to clean, safe drinking water while at school by dedicating $85 million to install filtered water stations inside schools and establish a loan program for homeowners to replace failing septic systems.

The plan also addresses the harmful impacts of PFAS chemicals and would dedicate $100 million in grants to remove the chemicals from “orphaned” sites. It also includes an additional $15 million to conduct surface water monitoring, $10 million for wetland mitigation, and $20 million to implement recommendations included in the Groundwater Use Advisory Council Report.

“The initiatives in this bill will help southwest Michigan communities begin work on meaningful projects that will benefit area residents for generations to come,” LaSata said. “This plan builds on the efforts that were included in the recently signed 2022 budget and make more resources available as we continue working to ensure statewide access to safe, clean drinking water.”

The bill now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.