Manitowoc Public Utilities (MPU) Water Systems Manager, Rob Michaelson, was invited to attend the White House summit on Friday, January 27th to discuss the federal plan for accelerating lead pipe replacement resources. MPU is recognized as a leader throughout the State of Wisconsin for ongoing efforts to remove lead from Manitowoc’s water system through coordinating funding programs and advocacy for our customers.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new initiative with the Biden-Harris Administration to help communities access funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for lead service line removal and replacement.
MPU is excited to be part of the new Biden-Harris Get the Lead Out Partnership comprised of state and local officials, water utilities, and other organizations who have committed to advance and accelerate lead pipe replacement.
The new Accelerator will provide targeted technical assistance services to help underserved communities access funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and replace lead pipes that pose risks to the health of children and families. The initiative is a partnership with the Department of Labor, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and will work with 40 communities across those states in 2023.
MPU recognizes the importance of removing lead service lines, but also understands the financial burden properties owners face in replacing their lead water service. Since 2017, MPU has actively applied for and received over $2 million dollars in principal forgiveness funds from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to assist over 680 Manitowoc properties in replacing their lead service line.
In late 2022, MPU applied for new Wisconsin Safe Drinking Water Loan Program funding that was made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), with MPU focusing on the replacement of lead service lines in low-income census tracts within the City of Manitowoc. MPU expects to learn more about this 2024 funding later this year, and will release more information to the public as it is available.