MDEQ proposes replacing all lead pipes within 20 years - WNEM TV 5

MDEQ proposes replacing all lead pipes within 20 years

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Elevated lead levels caused problems for Flint residents for more than three and a half years.

Now new regulations proposed by the MDEQ could stop a water crisis from happening to another Michigan community.

"Just looking at it I'm saying wow. If these things would've been implemented five years ago there wouldn't have been a crisis in Flint," said Gina Luster, Flint resident.

They are rules like removing all lead service lines in every community within the next 20 years.

"Our bottom line is to get lead out of the water drinking system. So obviously removal of lead service lines is the initiative that's going to do that and carry the weight," said Eric Oswald, with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Lowering the lead action level means it will take less lead being found in the water for them to step in and say there's a problem.

"We never want to see another Flint again, a situation like that. We don't want to expose people to lead or contaminates in their water. We're trying to make the rule better," Oswald said.

Luster said she believes the rules are going to be a big help and thinks the most important thing the MDEQ mentioned was being more transparent.

"That's really high on the list of things we've been fighting for. Let us know what's going on. Let us know what's in our water. Stop locking us out of these meetings. We know how to behave, just let us know what we're facing," Luster said.

The rules are not set in stone yet and could change down the road. There is no estimation on when or if these changes will take effect.

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