Upton, EPA Administrator Wheeler Announces $5.6 Million Grant to Remove Lead Service Lines in Benton Harbor
Washington, October 23, 2020 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761)
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede, and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced today that the City of Benton Harbor was selected to receive a $5.6 million grant to remove lead service lines and support a study to optimize the city’s lead corrosion control treatment to improve public health in Benton Harbor.
“In these unprecedented times with so much uncertainty, families should be able to be certain about this: their drinking water is safe for their children, friends, and loved ones,” Upton said. “Today’s announcement takes an important step to ensuring just that. This is a critically serious issue, and we need to continue to come together to guarantee safe drinking water for southwest Michigan’s communities.”
“Today’s announcement provides another example of the Trump Administration’s leadership in helping to ensure that all American’s have safe drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “As part of the newly formed Water Subcabinet, EPA and its federal partners will continue projecting the nation’s waters to benefit public health and the environment while creating jobs and spurring economic development.”
In advance of next week’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, EPA is making the first-ever selections under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act’s Reduction in Lead Exposure via Drinking Water by announcing $39.9 million in grant funding for ten projects.
The WIIN Act passed through the House Energy and Commerce Committee when Upton served as chairman. The legislation addresses, supports, and improves America's drinking water infrastructure. Included in the WIIN Act are three new drinking water grants that promote public health and the protection of the environment.
EPA will award the City of Benton Harbor a grant in the amount of $5.6 million. The city will use the EPA grant funding to help replace as many residential lead service lines as possible. Service lines will be replaced with copper piping from the water main to the home’s service connection—including both the public and private portions of the lead service line. Additionally, a study to optimize corrosion treatment, which helps reduce the levels of lead in drinking water where lead material is still present, will help ensure long term stability and reduction of lead throughout the drinking water system.
In addition to announcing these WIIN Act grants, EPA is helping finance projects that remove sources of lead in drinking water through the new and innovative Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program and through the State Revolving Funds. Under the Water Infrastructure Fund Transfer Act (WIFTA), Michigan made a one-time transfer of $102 million from the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund to its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for lead-related, DWSRF-eligible projects.
The 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act) addresses, supports, and improves America's drinking water infrastructure. Included in the WIIN Act are three drinking water grants that promote public health and the protection of the environment. Since 2018, EPA has made available more than $69 million to support testing for lead in drinking water at schools and child care programs and $42.8 million to assist public water systems in underserved, small, and disadvantaged communities meet Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.
For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/safewater/grants