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EGLE launches First Filter program

jasongillman via Pixabay | CC BY 2.0

The Michigan Department of Environmental, Great Lakes and Energy, or ELGE, announced plans this week to implement new protections against lead in school drinking water

Last October, Governor Whitmer signed the First Filter legislation. This bipartisan legislation sends $50 million dollars in funding and other resources to support the installation of lead-reducing water stations at schools and childcare facilities throughout the state of Michigan.

Under the new legislation, schools must develop a drinking water management plan, install filters on all drinking water fixtures and test filtered water annually. Childcare centers must also follow these guidelines, but only need to test their water once every two years.

Funding for these changes will be administered by EGLE, who will also provide guidance and templates to schools and childcare centers by April of this year. Those facilities will then have until January 24, 2025, to have their drinking water management plans completed, with approved filters attached to all drinking water sources by the end of the 2025-2026 school year.

According to EGLE, Michigan’s lead testing requirements are the strictest in the nation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that no safe blood lead level has ever been identified in children.

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