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Snyder thanks US Senate for passage of act for Flint aid

Posted: 1:46 PM, Sep 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-15 13:46:22-04

The U.S. Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act, which includes millions of infrastructure funding for Flint and other cities nationwide, Gov. Rick Snyder’s office announced Thursday.

"I greatly appreciate the Senate’s action today in approving funding for Flint’s water infrastructure to complement the state’s efforts,” Snyder said. “Federal, state and local officials continuing to work together are going to help restore Flint and help the people of Flint recover.

“I hope the House will act quickly in taking up this legislation.”

Snyder spoke with Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to discuss the remaining needs in Flint, and how the funding will benefit residents, states the release.

Flint has been allocated $27 million to date from state taxpayers to replace lead service lines in the city, and this is part of the total $234 million committed by the state to provide health care services and clean water resources for Flint residents, the release says.

Resources from the WRDA bill will help with other infrastructure improvements, including:

• $100 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), available for use in states which have an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act related to contaminants in drinking water.

• $70 million in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (WIFIA) Fund credit subsidies, which would ultimately provide up to $700 million in secured financing for water infrastructure projects nationwide.

• Debt forgiveness available to any state with an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act due to contaminants in drinking water to forgive outstanding debt on DWSRF loans incurred prior to this fiscal year.

• $50 million for public health initiatives, including: a health registry to monitor health in a community with lead contamination in the local drinking water system; an advisory committee to review federal efforts related to lead poisoning; the CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund; the HUD Healthy Homes Program, and the HHS Healthy Start Initiative.