Construction, Government, and Sustainability

Commission: $271B needed for Great Lakes water systems

October 2, 2017
| By AP |
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DULUTH, Minn. — State leaders said the Great Lakes region needs to drastically improve public water systems.

The Great Lakes Commission has called for upgrading wastewater treatment plants, stormwater pipes and drinking water filtration systems.

The Ann Arbor-based commission, which represents the region's eight states, said a conservative cost estimate is $271 billion.

Chairman John Linc Stine said recent drinking water crises in Flint, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio illustrate the hazards of aging and underfunded water infrastructure.

Billions of gallons of sewage and untreated storm water are released into the Great Lakes each year, because outdated systems can't handle it.

The commission endorsed a plan for tackling the problem during its annual meeting last month in Duluth, Minnesota.

It also recommended a closer look at emerging pollutants, such as chemicals, drugs and tiny plastic particles.

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