Zorn supports historic water infrastructure plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday voted for legislation to invest $3.34 billion in making critical improvements to the state’s water quality and infrastructure.

“This plan would make historic investments in our water infrastructure to protect our water and help ensure that all Michigan families have access to clean drinking water,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Instead of using the unprecedented level of federal funding we are receiving to simply enlarge the size of government, this plan dedicated much of it to making positive, long-term improvements that will help make Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family.

“Among the investments in the Protect MI Water plan are funds to help replace lead pipes, protect our Great Lakes and ensure students have safe water in their schools.”

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 improve Michigan’s dam infrastructure, wastewater systems and groundwater protection and provide clean drinking water.

The bill features $1 billion to replace lead pipes throughout the state, $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities, $100 million in grants to remove PFAS chemicals from “orphaned” sites, $50 million to help well owners connect to a community water system or increase the depth of their well if their water was contaminated or their well failed after a disaster, and $85 million for filtered water stations in schools.

SB 565 would also designate $680 million for dam infrastructure, including $650 million for projects prioritizing dam risk reduction, $15 million for emergency response activities by the state where a dam owner fails to pay for necessary work; and $15 million for a grant program for dam rehabilitation or removal.

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