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Administrator Wheeler Announces $5.1 Million Grant to Remove Lead Service Lines in Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS (Oct. 23, 2020) — Today, at an event with U.S. Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that the City of Grand Rapids was selected to receive a $5.1 million Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act grant. This funding will help remove lead service lines and support public engagement on the risks of lead in drinking water to improve public health in Grand Rapids.

“Today’s announcement is another example of the Trump Administration’s leadership in helping ensure Americans have safe drinking water, regardless of their zip code,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “As part of the newly formed Water Subcabinet, EPA and its federal partners will do all it can to safeguard the nation’s waters, protect public health and the environment, and help create jobs and spur economic development.”

“This is great day for the Michigan, and for the Grand Rapids community,” said EPA Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede. “This Administration has made it clear that the protection of our drinking water supply, and of the health and safety of Americans across the country has and will remain a top priority.” 

“In these unprecedented times with so much uncertainty, families should be able to be certain about this: their drinking water is safe for their children, friends, and loved ones,” said U.S. Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06). “Today’s announcement takes an important step to ensuring just that. This is a critically serious issue, and we need to continue to come together to guarantee safe drinking water for southwest Michigan’s communities.”

In advance of next week’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, EPA is making the first-ever selections under the WIIN Act’s Reduction in Lead Exposure via Drinking Water by announcing $39.9 million in grant funding for ten projects. EPA anticipates that it will award the City of Grand Rapids a grant in the amount of $5.1 million once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. The city will use the EPA grant funding to replace private lead service lines in disadvantaged communities. The proposed project intends to focus on disadvantaged communities in 17 contiguous census tracts known as Neighborhoods of Focus, which have a concentration of lead pipes. The project will also include outreach and public education to raise awareness of the health effects of lead in drinking water and ways to reduce lead exposure.

In addition to announcing these WIIN Act grants, EPA is helping finance projects that remove sources of lead in drinking water through the new and innovative Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program and through the State Revolving Funds. Under the Water Infrastructure Fund Transfer Act (WIFTA), Michigan made a one-time transfer of $102 million from the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund to its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for lead-related, DWSRF-eligible projects.


The 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act) addresses, supports, and improves America's drinking water infrastructure. Included in the WIIN Act are three drinking water grants that promote public health and the protection of the environment. Since 2018, EPA has made available more than $69 million to support testing for lead in drinking water at schools and child care programs and $42.8 million to assist public water systems in underserved, small, and disadvantaged communities meet Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.

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