News Briefs: Benton Harbor, Michigan, Declares State of Emergency Over Lead Pipes

Also in this week's sewer and water news, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announces $250 million in grant funding for water infrastructure projects as part of the new Ohio BUILDS initiative

The City Commission in Benton Harbor, Michigan recently declared a state of emergency in an effort to get its lead pipes replaced faster.

Commissioner-at-large Mary Alice Adams told CNN that they decided to make the declaration to grab the attention of federal lawmakers. “They may not be aware of the magnitude of these type of problems happening in communities across the country. While they fight our infrastructure bill, we live in a four seasonal state and with the winter weather near at hand, that can be so devastating at times.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who recently visited the city, asked lawmakers to commit to providing $11.4 million to replace the city's lead pipes.

Ohio Governor Announces $250 Million in Grant Funding for Water Infrastructure 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted recently announced the first round of water infrastructure grant funding awarded as part of a new, statewide initiative.

A total of $250 million in grant funding will be invested in water infrastructure projects as part of the new Ohio BUILDS initiative. The first round of water infrastructure grants awards $93 million to 54 projects that impact communities in 60 Ohio counties. The remainder of the water infrastructure grants will be awarded in the coming weeks and will ultimately impact communities in every county in Ohio.

Funds awarded today will help reduce or eliminate the local financial burden associated with critical infrastructure needs such as the construction of new water systems, the replacement of aging water lines, and the installation new water mains. Grants will also fund projects to prevent sewer system backups and replace failing household sewage treatment systems with new sewers.

"These grants are about strengthening our future, our people, and our communities," said Governor DeWine. "We want our kids and grandkids to stay in Ohio, and clean water is essential to the health and future of our state.  Protecting and ensuring that every community in Ohio has access to safe and clean water has been our mission from the start, and with these grants, we are continuing our mission to provide access to economic development tools that will help communities grow and thrive well into the future."

Metro Vancouver Fires Contractor Tasked with Building Billion-Dollar WWTP

Metro Vancouver recently announced it has fired the contractor in charge of constructing its $1 billion North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant after it laid off 200 workers from the job site.

The company, Acciona Wastewater Solutions, had received numerous completion deadline extensions for the project, which was originally supposed to be completed by the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, the company claims it was owed $95 million for work on the latest phase of the project.


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