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Congress approves federally-funded environmental projects for Michigan and Great Lakes

Congress approved funding for several projects and programs that will benefit the Great Lakes region.
Lester Graham
Congress approved funding for several projects and programs that will benefit the Great Lakes region.

The $1.7 trillion dollar spending plan recently passed by Congress includes money for a number of environmental issues in Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

A major chunk of money, $368 million, will go toward the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. It's the most important ongoing effort to fight invasive species, harmful algal blooms, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and clean up pollution. A lot of that money ends up in grants for research and restoration in Michigan.

More than $62 million goes to two projects in the Chicago area to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. Another $48 million is for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project to start construction of a barrier. The legislation includes $14 million that goes to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Dispersal Barrier at Des Plaines River.

Nationally, $55 million goes toward reducing lead in drinking water. In Michigan that includes $3.4 million for Hamtramck to replace lead lines and $800 thousand for improvements to Benton Harbor’s Water system after lead was detected in the water system.

In Oscoda Township, PFAS from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base has contaminated water wells. More money, $3 million, is coming to extend drinking water service to more affected areas.

The City of Lansing gets $6 million toward its continuing efforts to reduce combined sewer overflows.

Detroit gets almost $1.4 million to go toward the Joe Louis Greenway pedestrian and bicycle project.

The City of Midland will receive $1 million for its Sylvan Pump Station Detention Basin project.

Much of this information was gleaned from a news release from U.S. Senator Gary Peters. It includes other funding information regarding roads, water, and other infrastructure, education and training, law enforcement, business, and research. You can find that news release here.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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