Congressman Dan Kildee’s Amendments to help Flint Pass the House
Amendments Include Money to Expand Loan Forgiveness for Flint’s Existing Drinking Water Loans and New Federal Money to Support Water Testing for Future Source
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two amendments offered by Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) to help Flint recover from its water crisis. The first would allow for Flint to be relieved of existing loan burdens more quickly. The second would provide $3 million to fund the city of Flint’s share of a testing pipe loop that would allow for testing of water from a future source, the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA), before the water source is changed.
The amendments were adopted unanimously by the House as it considered its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The bill is expected to pass the House later this evening. On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Kildee advocated for the passage of his amendments. His remarks can be viewed here.
On June 21, 2016, the city of Flint decided to continue its contract with the KWA, where it would receive untreated water from Lake Huron. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required the building of a $7 million pipe loop to test the untreated water before Flint can begin receiving using the KWA. The state of Michigan has agreed to contribute approximately $4 million to the pipe loop, leaving the city of Flint to cover the remaining $3 million. Congressman Kildee’s amendment would provide funding through the EPA for Flint’s portion of the cost of the pipe loop.
“Congress must continue to focus on providing resources to the residents of Flint so they have access to safe drinking water in their homes,” Congressman Kildee said. “By providing the funding necessary to test the water from the KWA before Flint residents drink it will ensure that residents are not exposed to dangerous water in their homes.”
Congressman Kildee’s second amendment builds on previous efforts to allow the state of Michigan to forgive existing drinking water loans to Flint by allowing Michigan to forgive more of the city’s loans this year, which would free up much needed funds for Flint to be able to respond to the water crisis and improve the city’s finances.
Congressman Kildee has pushed for several provisions to be included in the House FY 2017 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to improve drinking water quality for Flint. The bill allows the state of Michigan to forgive existing drinking water loans to Flint, and increases funding for federal drinking water programs like the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) that could free up additional money for cities like Flint to remove lead pipes and improve the quality of drinking water.
Congressman Kildee continues to push for immediate action on the Families of Flint Act, his legislation that focuses on the immediate and long-term needs for Flint to recovery from the water crisis. The bill currently has 172 cosponsors.