Whitmer Issues Order To Prepare Using Federal Infrastructure Funds To Replace Lead Water Lines

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive directive to pave the way for Michigan to use federal infrastructure funds to replace lead water lines around the state. The order tells state departments to collaborate with the Michigan Legislature and begin preparing the state to replace lead services lines, build up water infrastructure, and continue prioritizing safe drinking water. Among other things, the order tells state agencies to prioritize hiring Michigan firms for the work, put communities with lead water lines first, and find opportunities to layer in flooding resiliency to water infrastructure. Under Michigan’s Lead and Copper Rule, every community in the state is required to replace 5% of its lead service lines each year, meaning 100% replacement in 20 years. However, any community experiencing an action level exceedance is required to replace their LSLs at a rate of 7% per year, meaning 100% completion in just under 15 years. The governor’s office says with additional federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan coming, Michigan will be able to speed up the timeline.