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Advisory: EGLE provides 11,000 pages of data, documents related to Benton Harbor drinking water

Nov. 4, 2021

More than 11,000 pages of documents data related to elevated lead levels in Benton Harbor drinking water has been made public on the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) website and more will be added in coming weeks.

The documents and data are in response to a request from the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee and include responses to more than two-dozen Freedom of Information Act requests filed in the past 18 months.

In a letter to State Senator Ed McBroom, chair of the Oversight Committee, EGLE Director Liesl Clark lays out the plan for future public releases of information, and identifies key lessons from the documents including:

  • While a range of actions were taken by multiple entities to inform Benton Harbor residents about elevated lead levels, we should consider potential improvements to our whole-of-government approach to communications
  • Benton Harbor's situation is unique and particularly urgent; but it also part and parcel of a statewide lead-in-drinking water challenge that must be vigorously addressed.
  • State, local and federal agencies are partnering to implement effective and well-researched strategies for reducing lead in drinking water in Benton Harbor and statewide.

The letter also addresses issues including corrosion control in Benton Harbor's water system, the removal of lead services lines and funding issues.

 

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