“Great Water, Great Lands” bond would dedicate $2B for Michigan water infrastructure, clean-up

Senator Margaret O'Brien

Senator Margaret O’Brien

LANSING, Mich.—Legislation introduced in the state Senate on Wednesday would establish the Great Water, Great Lands bond, a $2 billion fund for water infrastructure, contaminant cleanup and lead abatement throughout the state, announced Senator Margaret O’Brien.

“It’s important to establish a long-term plan to clean contaminated sites and to protect our drinking water,” said Senator O’Brien, R-Portage. “We must ensure these funds are protected and are not diverted for other uses. Michigan citizens have supported previous bonds.”

Specifically, Senate Bill 1109 would create the bond and allow the state to borrow $2 billion. The bill also sets spending categories including financing infrastructure projects for drinking water systems, sewage systems, stormwater systems and drainage systems, and financing the cleanup of environmental contamination and the abatement of lead hazards.

According to Senator O’Brien, total proceeds of the bond would be allocated as follows:

  • $100 million to the state drinking water revolving fund;
  • $825 million into the Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater Program;
  • $150 million to address drain infrastructure needs;
  • $900 million for the clean-up of environmental contamination, and
  • $25 million for the abatement of lead hazards.

Senator O’Brien said additional bills would be needed to determine where and how the bonded money would be allocated and if any new programs would be required once the bond passed.

To enact bonding legislation, a ballot question would need to be approved by voters in the next General Election in November 2020.

SB 1109 was referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee for consideration.