Strengthened state standards for the federal Lead and Copper Rule will better safeguard Michigan residents from lead in their drinking water, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Thursday after the rules were filed, making the new standards part of official state statute.
“The federal Lead and Copper Rule simply does not do enough to protect public health,” Snyder said. “As a state, we could no longer afford to wait on needed changes at the federal level, so Michigan has stepped up to give our residents a smarter, safer rule – one that better safeguards water systems in all communities. With these more stringent standards, Michigan will serve as a role model to other states looking to improve their own public health protections.”
Reforms to the state’s standards were made through administrative rules proposed by Gov. Snyder and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The rules went through a yearlong administrative process, widely supported by public health experts and environmental advocacy groups.
“Michigan Department of Environmental Quality staff worked closely with stakeholder groups to develop this new state Lead and Copper Rule that positions Michigan as a leader in implementing stricter standards that are protective of public health and safety. Further, this new rule helps ensure a balance between protecting public health by minimizing exposure to lead and copper in drinking water, while also providing water supplies with flexibility to implement a schedule for the removal of lead service lines.” C. Heidi Grether, Director of MDEQ
“By strengthening our Lead and Copper Rule to be the strictest in the nation, Gov. Snyder has put Michigan in a leadership position for safeguarding human health. Michigan Environmental Council celebrates this important advance that will protect our children and families and future generations from lead exposure in drinking water.” Chris Kolb, President and CEO, Michigan Environmental Council
“The new Michigan Lead and Copper Rule is the most stringent in the world when applied to cities with lead pipes, yet it strikes a reasonable balance between cost and benefit. It provides the EPA with a good exemplar to follow, if they ever begin to wage their long-promised war on lead in water.” Dr. Marc Edwards, Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech University
The updated rules will:
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