After dealing with a horrific water crisis since 2015, the citizens of Flint are finally set to receive federal aid towards replacing old lead pipes and return their drinking water to a safe state.
The Environmental Protection Agency has granted the $100 million to Flint, Michigan, in order to help finally resolve the contaminated water issues which have been plaguing residents. Although the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act was approved in 2016, the funds were officially granted yesterday, and will have a significant positive impact on Flint’s ability to repair aging service lines, which have contaminated the city’s drinking water for years.
Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt stated, “The people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government. EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure.”
Flint’s Mayor Karen Weaver expressed excitement at the federal aid and said she was “very grateful” for the government’s response.
“The city of Flint being awarded a grant of this magnitude in such a critical time of need will be a huge benefit,” said Weaver. “As we prepare to start the next phase of the … pipe replacement program, these funds will give us what we need to reach our goal of replacing 6,000 pipes this year and make other needed infrastructure improvements. We look forward to the continued support of the EPA and federal government.”
The funding for Flint comes as part of a larger package in the EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF), which delivers more than $30 billion in aid to states in need of infrastructure repair. The EPA issued a statement regarding President Trump’s infrastructure policy and plans for funding.
Under President Trump’s budget blueprint SRF remains fully funded, and the proposal provides robust funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program to finance critical drinking and wastewater infrastructure.
Donald Trump has often spoke of America’s aging infrastructure during his campaign speeches last year, and has made the revitalization of public facilities a primary goal of his administration. Earlier this month Trump began to outline his $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes repairing roads, improving highways and renovating public transportation buildings along with airports.
Despite the $1 trillion price tag on Trump’s plan, a recent poll has showed that 90% of voters are in support of his infrastructure policy.