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Snyder says DEQ can adopt new lead standards

Lead pipes
Mitch Barrie
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder plans to take executive action on tougher standards for lead in drinking water in the face of foot-dragging by the Legislature.

The Legislature’s Republican leaders have been cool to Governor Snyder’s proposed new lead-in-water rules, which would be tougher than federal standards. The governor says the federal rule is weak and confusing, and partially responsible for the Flint water crisis.

Snyder called for a tougher rule last year, and the Legislature never acted on it before the “lame duck” session ended. He rolled out details of a proposed rule in March with little interest from lawmakers.

The governor says he doesn’t want to wait.

“We looked at it, and we can do a number through rule-making, so we’re, I’m looking forward to some improvements we can do through the executive branch,” he said.

The governor wants a lower threshold to trigger a state response when lead is detected in drinking water, and he wants every community to create an inventory of lead service lines.

But the rule-making process, including public hearings, can take months.

The governor also says his administration is still trying to find areas of agreement with the Legislature on safe water and infrastructure.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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