Legislation provides emergency funding to replace and fix the City of Flint’s pipes, creates a Center to focus on immediate and long-term needs of children and adults exposed to lead
Legislation also requires mandatory EPA action if a state refuses to warn the public about unsafe water, gives state flexibility to use funding to help forgive water infrastructure loans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) today announced new legislation to help Flint families.
First, the legislation provides up to $400 million in new federal emergency funding to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help replace or fix the City of Flint’s water supply infrastructure.
Second, it establishes and funds a $200 million Center of Excellence on Lead Exposure to focus on the immediate and long-term needs of children and adults exposed to lead.
Third, it includes legislation announced by Senators Peters, Stabenow and Congressman Kildee requiring the EPA to warn the public of high lead levels in drinking water if a state fails to do so.
Fourth, it gives the State of Michigan new flexibility to use funding to help forgive water infrastructure loans. The legislation will be introduced as an amendment to the Energy Policy and Modernization Act before the Senate.
The State of Michigan has the primary responsibility to fix this crisis because they made a number of irresponsible decisions that caused it.
Because the State chose to save $100 a day by not providing corrosion control for water pipes, this amendment requires the State of Michigan to match dollar-for-dollar the $400 million infrastructure funding.
In his January 14 letter to President Obama requesting federal assistance, Governor Snyder estimated the cost of replacing the City of Flint’s water supply infrastructure at $767,419,500.
“I have spoken to the President, Cabinet Secretaries, and my Democratic and Republican colleagues, and appreciate their willingness to work with us on ways to address this horrible crisis,” said Senator Stabenow. “This legislation puts the attention and focus where it needs to be- helping the children and families of Flint.”
“The water crisis in Flint is an immense failure on the part of the State of Michigan to protect the health and safety of the City’s residents. While the State must accept full responsibility, the federal government can leverage investments the State needs to make, ” said Senator Peters.“I am committed to supporting the children and families of Flint, and the legislation we are introducing today will help put Flint on the road to recovery.”
“Getting Flint families and children the resources they need to overcome this man-made crisis continues to be my top priority,” Congressman Kildee said. “While the state government created this emergency, the federal government continues to step up and provide immediate and long-term solutions to help Flint. Governor Snyder must also step up and provide state resources equal to the gravity of this ongoing public health emergency.”
Center of Excellence on Lead Exposure: