Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2019
Governor Whitmer, EGLE Director Liesl Clark Send Letter to Environmental Protection Agency Calling For Stronger, Comprehensive Federal Lead and Copper Rule Protections
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler this week urging the agency to follow Michigan’s lead in lowering the Action Level for lead in drinking water. The Trump Administration is proposing changes to the federal Lead and Copper Rule that would cut the pace of lead service line replacement to less than half the current rate and fails to strengthen critical public health safeguards.
“My administration is firmly committed to doing everything we can to clean up our drinking water, including implementing the toughest protections in the nation against lead in drinking water,” said Governor Whitmer. “America needs urgent action to identify and address elevated lead levels in public water systems. It’s time that the EPA and Trump Administration follow Michigan’s lead in protecting public health and our water supplies.”
In 2018, then-Governor Snyder and the Republican-led legislature enacted changes to the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act (MSDWA) to increase protections against lead in drinking water through new testing and detection standards. The federal Lead and Copper Rule was first established in 1991, and the Trump Administration is proposing changes to the rule that would cut the pace of lead service line replacement to less than half the current rate and fail to lower the Action Level for lead in drinking water. The proposed changes also create an environmental justice issue where those with resources can get their entire lead service line replaced sooner while the poorest and most vulnerable will have to wait.
“Michigan’s Lead and Copper Rule is now the strongest in the nation, which allows us to better protect Michiganders against lead exposure in drinking water,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “These best practices and standards should be implemented at a federal level. The proposed changes to the federal Rule do not go far enough to protect public health.”