US House budget proposal cuts funds for water system upgrades and polluted communities

US House budget proposal cuts funds for water system upgrades and polluted communities
July 20, 2023 Michigan Public

By Lester Graham, Michigan Radio

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Find all the work HERE.

A Great Lakes environmental group said a U.S. House budget proposal that cuts funds for water will make problems worse and more costly to solve.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition said when cities are living with unsafe drinking water, the federal government needs to be doing more — not less — to ensure access to clean drinking water. The organization criticized a House budget proposal that makes cuts to the EPA budget, cuts to funds for water infrastructure and eliminates programs to help communities dealing with pollution that’s threatening water sources.

Michigan and other Great Lakes states have been involved in expensive efforts to remove lead lines and replace old water pipes and failing sewer systems.

The Republican-led budget proposal does preserve funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. That’s considered to be one of the most important funding sources for cleaning up pollution hot spots and restoring natural areas critical to clean water. It’s proposed to remain at last year’s funding level of $368 million.

The group said that does not make up for the “evisceration of core clean water programs that protect the drinking water, public health, and quality of life for millions of people.”

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Featured image: The proposed House budget cuts funding for municipal water distribution systems at a time when the aging infrastructure is failing in some communities. (file photo)


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