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State grants awarded to protect public health and water resources

More than $11.9 million in state grants was recently awarded to Michigan cities, villages, and townships to protect public health and the state's water resources.

The projects include water main replacements in Scottville, stormwater rehabilitation in Pontiac, and resources to identify lead service lines in several communities.

Most of the money — about $8.7 million — will go toward the Scottville project, checking pipes for lead and replacing water mains in the small city in Mason County.

"A lot of the money goes towards stormwater infrastructure so that when we treat stormwater and sewage and discharge the clean water back to lakes and streams that we do that effectively and efficiently. So it's protecting the environment, it's protecting public health," said Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy spokesperson Hugh McDiarmid.

Another grant sends $415,000 from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to Oakland County's Joachim Drain Drainage District. The drainage district is a stormwater system in Pontiac, and the project involves rehabilitation of existing storm sewer pipes and the drain outfall structure.

There are also grants that provide funding to assist communities in planning and affording water infrastructure needs statewide. They include $338,000 for the village of Marion and $759,000 for the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission in Clinton, Ingham, and Eaton counties.

And four water systems received grants "for work in identifying or verifying lead service lines in preparation for replacement":

  • Lyon Charter Township: $181,600
  • City of New Buffalo: $600,000
  • City of Saline: $600,000
  • City of Milan: $269,311

EGLE said more than 50% of its budget flows to local government agencies for improvements that serve residents and protect natural resources. The grants subsidize infrastructure maintenance to reduce water rate increases.

Christopher Johnson is married with two daughters. Born and raised in Detroit, he is a floating fill-in host at Michigan Public.
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