Gov. Rick Snyder thanks U.S. Senate for passage of measure that includes aid for Flint, encourages swift House approval

Governor worked with key senators, staff on approval of Water Resources Development Act over past nine months

Thursday, September 15, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today thanked the U.S. Senate for passage of the Water Resources Development Act, which includes millions of dollars for water infrastructure funding for Flint and other cities nationwide.

"I greatly appreciate the Senate’s action today in approving funding for Flint’s water infrastructure to complement the state’s efforts,” Snyder said. “Federal, state and local officials continuing to work together are going to help restore Flint and help the people of Flint recover.”

“I hope the House will act quickly in taking up this legislation.”

The governor has spoken with Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to discuss the remaining needs in Flint and how this funding will benefit residents. The Governor’s Office has worked closely with the committee since January to put together a bill package to complement the state’s ongoing efforts to address infrastructure in Flint. State officials also worked with Congressional committee staff who visited Flint in August, which helped spur movement of the funding bill.

The city of Flint has been allocated $27 million to date from state taxpayers to replace lead service lines in the city. This is part of the total of $234 million committed by the state to provide health care services and clean water resources for residents of Flint.

Resources from the WRDA bill will help with other infrastructure improvements, and include:

  • $100 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), available for use in states which have an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act related to contaminants in drinking water.
  • $70 million in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (WIFIA) Fund credit subsidies, which would ultimately provide up to $700 million in secured financing for water infrastructure projects nationwide.
  • Debt forgiveness available to any state with an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act due to contaminants in drinking water to forgive outstanding debt on DWSRF loans incurred prior to this fiscal year.
  • $50 million for public health initiatives, including: a health registry to monitor health in a community with lead contamination in the local drinking water system; an advisory committee to review federal efforts related to lead poisoning; the CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund; the HUD Healthy Homes Program, and the HHS Healthy Start Initiative.