Levin Leads Bipartisan Push for Funding to Clean up Lake St. Clair

April 3, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Andy Levin is leading a bipartisan effort to put federal dollars toward cleaning up Lake St. Clair. In a letter sent this week to the House Appropriations Committee, Michigan Members of the U.S. House of Representatives requested federal funding to improve Macomb County’s Chapaton Retention Basin.

“To make urgent water quality improvements to Lake St. Clair, we need investment from both the state and federal governments,” Congressman Andy Levin said. “Current problems including storm water contamination are linked to overflows that would be prevented if necessary improvements to the Chapaton Retention Basin were made.”

“Democrats and Republicans are united in our commitment to cleaning up Lake St. Clair and boosting the economy of the Great Lakes region. I’m so glad that the Basin has an effective advocate in Commissioner Miller, and I look forward to working with her and my House colleagues to fight for this critical funding.”

"Protecting our magnificent Great Lakes is an issue that is far larger than just a few communities in a single county,” Macomb County’s Public Works Commissioner Miller said. “Lake St. Clair and the Great Lakes Basin is a national treasure, so it makes sense that our federal government would play a role in this project to protect the lakes. We appreciate Rep. Levin's attention to this project. We are eager to move forward with the assistance of our federal partners."

Congressman Levin’s letter was signed by Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland), Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township), Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly), Paul Mitchell (R-Thomas Township), Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills), Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit).

Specifically, the letter requests that that committee include robust funding for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants authorized in Sec. 4106 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018; the Clean Water State Revolving Fund; and the Water Investment Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). These funds could be used to address the water quality problems in Lake St. Clair by making improvements to the Chapaton Retention Basin, and to benefit other critically important water infrastructure projects across Michigan.

Read the full text of the letter HERE.

The Chapaton Retention Basin is a 28-million-gallon Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Facility that opened in 1968, and currently services Interstate 94 (I-94), businesses, and approximately 92,000 residents in Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

The Basin also serves a vital function in protecting the environment by retaining up to 30 million gallons of storm water and sanitary sewage flow during heavy rains – approximately seven times per year, on average – and then re-diverting to sewage treatment.

Commissioner Miller has announced plans that have received state funding to make improvements to the Chapaton Retention Basin that would address Lake St. Clair’s water quality problems.

Congressman Levin met with Commissioner Miller and toured the Chapaton Retention Basin and pump station last month.