The Legislature is going to work on toughening standards for lead in drinking water, although finishing the job may have to wait until next year.
State Senator Jim Ananich (D-Flint) has sponsored a bill to reduce the allowable levels of lead in drinking water. His bill would take the standard from the current 15 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 parts, and then to five pbb. He says the eventual goal is zero exposure to lead.
He says Michigan should adopt the toughest lead rules in the country following the Flint water crisis.
“We’re seeing problems all over the country, Flint being the first and the most severe of course, and we know that lead is a toxic substance,” he said. “It shouldn’t be in people’s bodies.”
Ananich says that’s why Michigan shouldn’t wait on the federal government to update lead standards.
Governor Rick Snyder has said the current federal rule is confusing and partially to blame for the Flint water crisis. The Snyder administration is also working on new lead standards. The governor’s communications director says he doesn’t expect that work to be completed before next year because the Legislature has a lot on its to-do list and very few session days left.