flint water crisis 2017

Trump’s EPA Sends $100M To Michigan For Flint Water System Upgrade

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was officially awarded $100 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to make vital upgrades to Flint’s drinking water system. Flint’s drinking water infrastructure became contaminated with lead and other toxins after the city switched water sources as a cost-cutting measure, as per Hannity.

Beyond the $100 million approved, the law endorsed a year ago likewise incorporated an arrangement to pardon another $20 million in past framework advances to Flint. It additionally included $50 million for monitoring and addressing the various needs of children exposed to lead, according to the Detroit News.

flint water crisis
Flint resident Gladyes Williamson holds a bottle full of contaminated water, and a clump of her hair, alongside Jessica Owens holding a baby bottle full of contaminated water in February of 2016 in Washington, D.C. [Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

The new funding is a supplement to the EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF), which supplies over $30 billion to states in need of infrastructure repair.

“Under President Trump’s budget blueprint, SRF remains fully funded, and the proposal provides robust funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program to finance critical drinking and wastewater infrastructure.”

The funds are part of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which was approved in 2016. The state of Michigan is also contributing matching funds of $20 million for a total award of $120 million, according to MLive.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said that the EPA focusing on Flint’s water infrastructure is part of a bigger goal in improving America’s water system.

“The people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government… EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure.”

The funds will permit Flint to accelerate and extend its work to replace lead service lines and make other critical infrastructure enhancements.

The federal award to Michigan comes a month after the state backed Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s proposal for spending the money. Weaver said she was “excited and very grateful” to receive the aid from the federal government.

“The city of Flint being awarded a grant of this magnitude in such a critical time of need will be a huge benefit… As we prepare to start the next phase of the… pipe replacement program, these funds will give us what we need to reach our goal of replacing 6,000 pipes this year and make other needed infrastructure improvements. We look forward to the continued support of the EPA and federal government.”

Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement that the award of federal funds is appreciated and much needed by the people of Flint. Snyder added that it is great to see federal, state, and local partners working together to assist the people of Flint with infrastructure upgrades and pipe replacements.

“Combined with the nearly $250 million in state funding already allocated, this will help keep Flint on a solid path forward.”

According to the agency, the WIIN subsidizing supplements EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund — which has given over $30 billion to states in need of infrastructure overhauls, according to CNN.

“Under President Trump’s budget blueprint, SRF remains fully funded, and the proposal provides robust funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program to finance critical drinking and wastewater infrastructure.”

The city aims to replace 6,000 pipes this year, in addition to other upgrades.

The rest of the $68.5 million in funding, while restrictively endorsed, won’t be given until the city and state finish extra reviews and assemble open comments from the public, according to the EPA.

The plan that was submitted by the DEQ states that the rest of the money is planned for replacing water meters ($10 million) and overhauling the city’s water treatment plant ($58.5 million).

Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters, and Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township made a bipartisan consent to secure emergency federal aid. On Friday, they praised the EPA’s award and approached the state to provide additional aid. The lawmakers said in a joint statement, “Today we have good news for families in Flint who have already waited far too long for their water system to be fixed.”

“The people of Flint are strong and resilient, and we will continue to fight for the resources and assistance they need. It’s also past time for the State of Michigan to do everything in its power to meet its responsibilities to help the city recover from this man-made crisis.”

Republican Rep. Fred Upton of St. Joseph, who also worked on the bipartisan agreement, said he was proud to bolster the endeavors to secure the emergency aid and that the funds will be an incredible benefit to the people of Flint, Michigan.

“… The federal government had a role to play in this tragedy, and so the federal government bears responsibility to help make the situation right.”

[Featured Image by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

Comments