Michigan Governor Whitmer calls for water reconnections, establishes communities fundChristian Fernsby ▼ | March 29, 2020
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer took strong steps to ensure at-risk households have access to clean water for hand washing and sanitation through an executive order requiring the reconnection of service to residences that have had water service shut off.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Topics: Michigan Whitmer water
“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the coronavirus,” said Whitmer. “We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.”
The order requires public water suppliers to immediately identify residences in their service area that do not currently have water service, and to make best efforts to restore service to homes where the service has been disconnected due to non-payment or damaged infrastructure. The order also includes reporting and accountability requirements.
The order is effective for the duration of the coronavirus emergency. It does not absolve anyone from responsibility for past-due bills.
To assist communities in complying with the order, a $2-million fund has been established through Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The Water Restart Grant Program will provide funding to local communities to help reconnect homes to their water supplies.
EGLE will provide limited grants to communities based on available funds. Grants will be provided to high-risk areas. ■