Gov. Whitmer to Extend Michigan Water Shutoff Protections to End of 2020

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday she will extend an executive order protecting state residents from water shutoffs through the end of the year.

In addition to the order, Whitmer signed a bill last week that will allocate $25 million to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to reimburse water utilities that forgive customer water debts incurred during the Covid-19 emergency.

“As Michigan families grapple with the impacts of Covid-19 on public health and our economy, our administration is taking proactive steps to ensure that no one has to worry about having access to clean drinking water or losing power during this unprecedented crisis,” Whitmer said in a statement.

The initial order, signed into effect in late March, required utilities to reconnect water service to homes that had been disconnected because they were late in paying their bills.

Along with the initial order, the state established a $2 million grant program to assist utilities with the cost of restoring water. Some 2,477 residents had their water restored.

Michigan has just under 75,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 11,805 of them in Detroit. The Detroit Water Department reported 127,500 water shutoffs for residents from 2014 to the end of 2019.

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