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Michigan close to finalizing stricter lead rules for water

Water faucet photo
Public domain image
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Wikimedia.org

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is nearing completion of the country's strictest drinking water rules for lead.

It's a plan that would eventually result in the replacement of all 500,000 lead service pipes in Michigan despite opposition from municipalities and utilities.

The rules will take effect unless a legislative committee objects by June. Lawmakers are unlikely to intervene after successfully nudging the state Department of Environmental Quality to scale back parts of the proposal that could still cost $2.5 billion over decades. The money is expected to largely come from water customers.

The "action level" for lead would drop from 15 parts per billion - the federal limit - to 12 parts per billion in 2025.

Snyder says Flint's water crisis exposed problems with lead rules and Michigan must adopt changes.