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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Lawrence Secures $1.6 Million for Pontiac and Royal Oak Township Water System Improvement Projects in House Appropriations FY 2022 Interior and Environment Funding Bill

June 29, 2021
Press Release
These are two of the Community Project Funding requests Rep. Lawrence submitted in April

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, secured a total of $1.6 million for water system improvement projects for the City of Pontiac and Royal Oak Township. The funding is included in the FY 2022 House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, and Environment, and Related Agencies which was marked up in the subcommittee yesterday. These are two of the Community Project Funding requests that Rep. Lawrence submitted in April

“Our water infrastructure across the country is in desperate need of repair. In Michigan, we know all too well the devastating effects that outdated water infrastructure—especially lead pipes—can have on families and communities,” said Rep. Lawrence. “I’m proud to have secured a total of $1.6 million for water system improvement projects for the City of Pontiac and Royal Oak Township. These long overdue upgrades will improve the quality of life, keep families safe and healthy, and increase access to clean, reliable drinking water.”

“By including the infrastructure grants in the Community Project Funding list for the 2022 Interior Funding Bill, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence will do a great service to the City of Pontiac and Royal Oak Township,” said Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash. “The costs to ratepayers in these communities of repairing the aging infrastructure already suffering from water and sewer affordability issues is overwhelming. This funding will vastly help reduce the costs to the families while improving community system sustainability. It will also help develop long-term programs needed for the communities to be successful.”

Pontiac Water System Improvement

  • Amount Secured: $800,000
  • Intended Recipient: Oakland County Water Resources Commission, located at One Public Works Drive, Building 95W, Waterford, MI, 48328
  • Explanation of Request: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the award of grant monies to the Oakland County Water Resources Commission will help the City of Pontiac water system maintain compliance with the Lead & Copper Rule while keeping water system costs down. This project is targeted for the area of Pontiac with the highest concentration of lead service lines because the removal of these lines is a health benefit to water customers. The project will replace an old water main that is at the end of its useful life. This water main will result in fewer boil water notices for these customers, better customer pressure, and better fire flows. Aside from the health benefits of replacing the lead service lines, approximately 37% of households in Pontiac have water/sewer bills above EPA’s affordability guideline, 45% of homes are considered in poverty based on Health and Human Services poverty guidelines, and approximately 72-81% of house

Royal Oak Township Water System Improvement

  • Amount Secured: $800,000
  • Intended Recipient: Oakland County Water Resources Commission, located at One Public Works Drive, Building 95W, Waterford, MI, 48328
  • Explanation of Request: The project would be a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the award of grant monies to the Oakland County Water Resources Commission will help Royal Oak Township update their water system, which is in desperate need of improvement. The approximate eleven miles of water main are at the end of their useful life. There are many main breaks that disrupt water service, they are undersized, and there is low customer water pressure. Within the system, there are lead service lines and the system is currently in exceedance of the lead action level. Water system improvements will provide a public health benefit, improved water quality, and improved reliability. The water system serves a disadvantaged population of approximately 2,400 people with a median household income of $24,451. Approximately 57% of households in the Township have water/sewer bills above EPA’s affordability guideline.

For Fiscal Year 2022, the draft bill includes $43.4 billion in regular appropriations, an increase of $7.3 billion – 20.2 percent – above 2021. There is also an additional $2.45 billion of funding for fire suppression. The legislation:

  • Creates good-paying American jobs through investments in renewable energy development, including offshore wind, and a national initiative to reclaim abandoned mines and cap orphan oil and gas wells
  • Confronts the climate crisis by expanding environmental enforcement efforts, creating a Civilian Climate Corps, and launching a renewed focus on land and water conservation
  • Supports Native American families by investing in a strong and resilient Indian Country, including through education and health care programs
  • Dramatically expands environmental justice efforts to address unacceptable pollution in communities of color
  • Honors the federal government’s responsibilities to Native Americans

A summary of the bill is here. The text of the draft bill is here. In keeping with the Appropriations Committee’s commitment to transparency, information on Community Project Funding in the bill is here.