Snyder says DEQ can adopt new lead standards

Apr 20, 2017

Credit 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.