MLive/Flint Journal: Federal funding for Flint water crisis heads to full Senate

FLINT, MI -- A bill that includes $100 million in federal funds for Flint has cleared committee and is headed to the full U.S. Senate.

Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters said today, April 28, today that the Committee on Environment and Public Works passed the funding as part of the Water Resources Development Act.

The legislation includes money to repair water infrastructure and authority for the state of Michigan to forgive $22 million in past drinking water loans given to the city.

The $100 million would be set aside for an emergency infrastructure program under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The state of Michigan could access the funds after submitting a comprehensive plan to the EPA.

Although Flint isn't identified as the sole beneficiary of the funds, the assistance would only be available to a community, like Flint, that received a federal emergency declaration by the President due to a public health threat from high amounts of lead in the water.

Under federal rules, lawmakers cannot earmark funds for a specific project.

"I am pleased that legislation providing much-needed assistance for the City of Flint moved forward in the Senate today," Peters said in a news release. "The people of Flint are still without access to clean, safe water, and many are still forced to rely on bottled water for cooking, bathing and drinking."

By:  Ron Fonger
Source: MLive