Drinking Water News Roundup: What does the American Jobs Plan mean for various Great Lakes states?

Drinking Water News Roundup: What does the American Jobs Plan mean for various Great Lakes states?
April 26, 2021 Grace Dempsey

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:


President Joe Biden’s $2.7 trillion infrastructure plan has sparked criticism from Republicans over what kinds of projects should be included under the category of “infrastructure.”

“We have 23% of all the lead pipe leads in America in the Chicagoland area… I consider that infrastructure,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said. However, experts told us it’s tough to determine the accuracy of Durbin’s statistic because no national inventory exists.


The majority of state-regulated wetlands in Indiana could be eliminated by builders and farmers without a permit or mitigation, thanks to a new measure that the State Senate sent to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk last week.

Environmentalists say if the measure becomes law, it will have disastrous consequences across the Hoosier State. Gary Lamberti, a Professor of Biological Studies at The University of Notre Dame, says the value of isolated wetlands goes far beyond the beauty on the outside. 

On Thursday, April 22, City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) crews were dispatched to repair a water main break at the intersection of South White Pine Drive and West Persimmon Court. Water service was shut off for 27 addresses; those customers are now under a precautionary Boil Water Advisory until noon Friday, April 23.


A state-by-state breakdown on how President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan would revitalize the nation’s aging infrastructure and bring millions of new jobs was released by the White House on Monday. The $2 trillion plan aims to tackle the miles of bridges and roads across the country that are in need of repair, as well as to increase housing affordability and access to broadband internet, ensure clean drinking water for communities and revamp the country’s energy grid. 

Although most Republican voters support pieces of Biden’s bill, Newsweek reports that GOP lawmakers have criticized the proposed legislation for including things they don’t view as infrastructure.


The White House is releasing a list of a dozen areas where the $2.7 trillion plan would benefit the Buckeye State.

On drinking water, they said “over the next 20 years, Ohio’s drinking water infrastructure will require $13.4 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.”


The Ontario government announced $656.5 million in provincial/federal funding this month to be directed toward critical infrastructure upgrades to better protect students and staff from COVID-19.

Projects can include HVAC renovations to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, and space reconfigurations such as new walls and doors to enhance physical distancing.


Aliquippa, Pennsylvania residents are fighting for a second opinion on their water, shipping off samples for independent lead testing.

The Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa said it made a decimal mistake on water quality reports. Instead of 48.4 parts per billion, one water sample’s lead level read 484 parts per billion.

The White House released fact sheets this week for every state to demonstrate how President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan would help them, and Pennsylvania received a C- grade for its existing infrastructure.  

In the fact sheet, the White House said that Pennsylvania will need nearly $17 billion over the next 20 years to upgrade its drinking water infrastructure. 


According to Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, the drinking water infrastructure of Wisconsin will require $8.6 billion in additional funding over the next 20 years. The plan will include $111 billion set aside to help make sure the state has clean, safe drinking water in every community.

Read more drinking water news on Great Lakes Now:

Water Access: As moratoria on shutoffs end, old problems return to the forefront

PFAS in the House: Are toxic “forever chemicals” a steady drip in this reporter’s home?

Speaking of Water: How Can the Biden Administration Deliver on Environmental Justice Pledges?

Nestlé Exit: North American bottled water brands sold to investment firm

Drinking Water News Roundup: New York water standards deferrals, microplastics in Pennsylvania

Drinking Water News Roundup: Climate change and Illinois water withdrawals, clean water for Michigan students

Explainer: Who regulates U.S. drinking water, and how?

Featured image: Sink and faucet (Photo by Dejan Krsmanovic via Flickr/CC)


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