How Michigan’s Environment Stands to Benefit from the Infrastructure Act

For Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

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1 – Michigan will see $1.8 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recently signed into law

The money will go to water infrastructure, resiliency and water equity, say leaders from the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a coalition of mayors and local officials in the U.S. and Canada. 

The group says the act will place cities and townships on a path to address aging infrastructure and replace lead service lines. 

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Michigan should receive $1.3 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure clean, safe drinking water in communities.

The state also is due to receive $563 million for bridge replacement and repairs. There are more than 1,200 bridges reported to be in “poor” condition in Michigan. 

The group says Michigan can further expect $23 million to protect against wildfires and will benefit from a $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization, which will reduce energy costs for families.

From 2010 to 2020, Michigan experienced 19 extreme weather events.  

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council says some of the most significant spending includes $2.5 billion for a Department of Energy revolving loan fund to help spur the construction of new or modified transmission lines. 

There’s another $6 billion for Department of Energy grant programs for battery research, including for electric vehicle batteries and energy storage, along with $5 billion for states to install public EV chargers.

Michigan should expect to receive about $110 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Michigan also can apply for grants out of the $2.5 billion available nationally for EV charging.

3 – Sixteen communities will receive almost $2 million to invest in local parks and trails throughout Michigan. 

The money comes from Recreation Passports people purchase to use state parks. More than a third of Michigan registered vehicles have the passport on their license plate tabs, and that number has increased steadily since the program was introduced in 2010. 

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Counties receiving 2021 grants include Arenac, Huron and Sanilac.

Arenac will receive $112,500 for development of a campground at Oasis Lake Park. Officials say that, on average, every $1 invested in land conservation leads to $4 in economic benefit.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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