State wants to adopt toughest lead-testing rules in nation - WNEM TV 5

State wants to adopt toughest lead-testing rules in nation

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Gov. Rick Snyder said he's doing everything he can to help residents of the Vehicle City.

"Well the state spotlight is clearly on Flint. Has been and will continue to be," Snyder said.

It's day 721 of the water crisis and Snyder announced the state wants to adopt what would be the toughest lead-testing rules in the nation, all in an effort to prevent this type of water crisis from ever happening again.

"You go out and make a proposal and then you have legislative hearings to hear from various constituents and concerned groups and you work to make a great product out of it," Snyder said.

The changes would include:

  • Continuous testing of water systems around the state
  • Required testing before changing public water systems
  • Required lead replacement over the next 10 years for public water systems
  • Reduction in lead action level by 2020
  • Stronger enforcement of the water quality laws

Mike Zimmer, the director of licensing and regulatory affairs, had a lot of input in the recommendations.

"What can we propose to close all the gaps in the current federal Lead and Copper Rule, develop a national model based on Michigan’s experience and that's what we did," Zimmer said.

Zimmer wants to form a new advisory commission on drinking water quality.

He also proposes all corrosion control to be performed under the guidance of a licensed engineer, eliminate partial lead service line replacements, and reduce the lead action level from 15 ppb to 10 ppb by 2020.

Zimmer said lead service line replacement will take place in the hardest hit areas of Flint first.

"It specifically required to be prioritized based on vulnerable populations, high lead levels, high test results. So we scale that on prioritization and we'll hit the worst case first so we can do it appropriately," Zimmer said.

Flint's Mayor Karen Weaver said the new measures are a welcome change, if not bittersweet for residents of her city.

"It was difficult to listen to it knowing that had these things been put in place we wouldn't be sitting here today," Weaver said.

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