|Wednesday, 25 August 2010 00:00|
Currently, the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Fund may only be used to provide municipalities low interest loans for sewage system improvements and for grants to assist municipalities in completing the loan application requirements.
Introduced by Senator Birkholz, Senate Bill 1442 would authorize the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) to use up to $200 million from the Fund for other purposes.
Specifically, the bill would allow the DNRE to expend $100 million dollars to address nonpoint source water pollution. If the Department can document that it has achieved certain performance objectives by January 1, 2013, the Department may expend an additional $100 million from the Fund.
Further, the bill would add MCL 324.5204C and allow the DNRE to expend up to $25 million from the Fund to provide Brownfield Development grants and loans to municipalities and Brownfield Redevelopment Authorities. These grants and loans are to be used for response activities to address nonpoint source water pollution.
As it stands, the Michigan Municipal Bond Authority, in conjunction with the DNRE, makes $40 million available for eligible municipalities under the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Grant Program. Senate Bill 1443, introduced by Senator Gilbert, would provide $40 million dollars in additional grant money. Further, the bill would create the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund Advisory Committee within the DNRE. The Committee would consist of a representative of the DNRE and additional members from at least the following organizations: American Council of Engineering Companies, American Waterworks Association, Michigan Townships Association, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Michigan Water and Environment Association and others.