Gov. Whitmer pushes to replace infrastructure to ensure clean drinking water

Posted at 7:03 PM, Nov 03, 2021

DETROIT (WXYZ) — From Benton Harbor to metro Detroit, questions remain over Michigan’s infrastructure and whether it’s moving in the right direction.

The Environmental Protection Agency this week ordered Benton Harbor officials to take immediate steps to improve the quality of its drinking water, where high lead levels were recently found.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said her administration has been working with residents, federal partners and local leaders to ensure the needs of Benton Harbor residents are being met. Whitmer said they are committed to replacing all the state's lead lines within the next 18 months.

“First and foremost, I think it’s critical that every family in Michigan has access to clean, safe drinking water,” Whitmer said. “We’re working across the aisle, across different levels of government to make sure we’re doing everything to keep people safe.”

Bottled water is being provided to Benton Harbor residents.

In response to a large water main break in Oakland County this week, Whitmer said it’s important to replace systems in the state that have aged.

“We’ve got to replace our infrastructure. I know I’m known for talking about the roads, but I’m (also) talking about the bridges, I’m talking about the water infrastructure under that ground that brings water into our homes,” Whitmer said.

She’s now hoping legislation she proposed will be passed by lawmakers.

“This isn’t isolated to one community or another, this is a systemic issue all across our state and that’s why we’ve got to focus on it and work on it together,” Whitmer said.