michigan to enforce lead rules after flint crisis

    Published: June 16, 2016

    Michigan to Enforce Lead Rules After Flint Crisis

    The water crisis in Flint has lead to an elevated awareness of the potential harmful contaminants that could be lurking in our drinking water. The unprecedented levels of lead in the area’s tap water shocked the public and terrified local residents, many of whom have resorted to drinking bottled water or relocating.

    In the wake of this water crisis, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan issued his detailed plan to require the most stringent lead-testing regulations in the country. His plan, which was formulated with the help of industry experts, would also require the removal of all lead service pipes in the entire state.

    Further initiatives under Governor Snyder’s plan would require the disclosure of existing lead plumbing for home sales and rental contracts. In addition, the areas that would be tested to determine a given area’s water quality would expand from residences to include day care centers, schools, nursing homes, and other such facilities.

    When the group responsible for formulating the plan was presented to the Flint Interagency Coordinating Committee the necessary funding for these new regulations was purposely not discussed. There are no estimates at this time for how expensive these overhauls will be. The Michigan Legislature must approve the plan before being implemented.

    Governor Snyder’s plan would lower the acceptable concentration of lead in Michigan’s drinking water to 10 parts per billion by 2020, significantly less than the national acceptable concentration of 15 parts per billion. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency considers a city’s water system “safe” if 90% of the samples from that city are below the federal “action level” of 15 parts per billion in regards to lead concentration.

    10 parts per billion echoes what the World Health Organization believes should be the standard for concern when it comes to lead in drinking water. Governor Snyder stated that the federal limit of 15 parts per billion is “dumb and dangerous.” His goal is to implement infrastructural changes and updated regulations at a faster rate than the EPA would on their own.

    Potentially harmful levels of lead were found in many Flint residents once the water crisis first broke. Children that consume high levels of lead in their drinking water can develop behavioral problems and possibly suffer a lowering of their IQ. Michigan contains about 460,000 lead service lines, so it’s a real possibility that the conditions in Flint could be perpetuated throughout the state.

    Flint has now been in a state of emergency for months. Citizens are urged to either use bottled water or install heavy-duty water filters until the damaged pipes can be properly fixed. A Pelican Water whole house filter or countertop water filter is a terrific way to protect your family from the harmful impurities and contaminants that may be present in your drinking water, especially if you live in Flint or another city suffering a similar water crisis.