91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Legislature going to work on tougher lead standards

A table filled with bottles of Flint water (both clear and brown)
Flint Water Study

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.

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