Bills Introduced to Outfit All Schools/Child Care Centers with Water Filters

Protecting kids first as the state works on long term solutions, a new bill package aims to secure clean water for children. The lead water crises seen in Flint, Benton Harbor and Hamtramck have shown Michigan has a lead pipe issue and it is not an easy, quick fix.

Senators from both sides of the aisle have a plan to save the most vulnerable now.

“The most important thing to do is to protect first,” said Sen. Jim Ananich of Flint, “Then investigate and then, as you determine to make changes, you have that safety in place.”School Water Filter Bill Vsv 10 26 2100 00 26 05still001

As of right now, we know of several Michigan communities were lead has been found in the water but that means it’s probably in many more around the state, it just hasn’t been found yet. It’ll take years to replace those lead lines to fix those issues so Ananich and Sen. Curt VanderWall, of Ludington, say these bills will put water filters in schools and childcare centers to make sure to solve that problem while more work is being done.

“Primary prevention is number one. Just make sure that the filters are on there so we have safe water,” said Ananich, “If we have to remove the lines, it’s great. We can fix the problem but make sure they are safe first.”

Finding and replacing every lead pipe in the state will take many years.

“This is our goal,” said VanderWall, “That it will be every school facility no matter what type of school it is. And every daycare throughout the state.”

Of course, that’s going to cost a lot of money to do so.

“$54 million is the budget for the initial kick off and then another $300 million for 10 years,” said VanderWall, “So it’s not cheap.”

The money will come from supplemental budget plans with surplus money from the state and then some federal COVID relief dollars. The filters can get out now while the state waits for even more money from Washington DC.

“Hopefully we’re going to see large amount of money for infrastructure to remove lead lines across the country,” Said Ananich, “We want to be leading in this here in Michigan. Hopefully we can do that.”