Read Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to remove lead water pipes in Michigan

flint water tower

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants to overhaul the state’s “Lead and Copper Rule,” following the Flint’s lead-in-water scandal.

Related: Even after Flint, lead-free water lines may be a pipe dream in Michigan
Related: Reforms going nowhere to require Michigan schools to test water for lead​

Those standards now mirror a federal rule that experts have long said fails to protect public health. Snyder’s wide-ranging proposal would require some utilities to replace every lead service line in Michigan over 20 years. It would also lower the threshold for how much lead regulators will accept in water and significantly tighten testing standards.

The proposal would:

  • Lower lead “action level” from 15 to 10 parts per billion.
  • Require water suppliers to remove lead service lines over the next 20 years (5 percent each year), once 90th percentile of tests hits 5 parts per billion. Includes lines with only lead “goosenecks” or galvanized lines that are or were connected to lead service lines. Currently, removals are only required when action level is eclipsed after corrosion control treatment.
  • Require suppliers to map their pipeline system — including where lead is found — and submit to the state a verified inventory by 2024. It must be updated each year to note lead line replacements, and customers served by a lead line must be notified.
  • Require suppliers to offer to replace private portion of lead service lines — and pay for it.
  • Mandate annual samples for lead among large suppliers — 50,000 people and above — and those with corrosion control treatment.
  • Create a statewide advisory council to lead public awareness efforts, and require local councils in larger cities.
  • Make suppliers review and/or update their pools for sampling for lead — emphasizing sites with lead service lines.
  • Only use highest result of valid samples at a site in calculation of system-wide lead and copper levels. Currently, any valid sample at a site can be used.
  • Require second sample at site serviced by lead line — taken after 6 liters of water has been drawn, to more closely represent household water use. 

Related: Here’s where Michigan 2018 governor candidates stand on lead pipes
Related: Gov. Rick Snyder pitches plan to clean up Michigan’s polluted sites

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John Saari
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 9:23am

Eliminating all of our hazards and hurts won’t let us live forever. We must be able to afford the protection. We must be able to vote for such expenses.

Laurel Kaskurs
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 3:19pm

We must have fair elections to make this happen. I am sure educated people would explain it to the rest of the people who are otherwise busy. The gas company must pay for infrastructure repairs. Currently, the taxes the nuclear gang gives only get used forschools which still have lead pipes. And priorities are often skewed.

Pat Shalhoob
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 9:50am

I don't think(??) that it's required to REMOVE the lines at great expense, just leave 'em where they are, disconnect, and run parallel SAFE lines...

Pat Shalhoob
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 9:52am

[ps; I used to work with all the MDEQ PEOPLE now facing jail sentences, or similar, as AREA ENGINEER until they 'districted us out' and I bailed, to work for HFES, also as an engineer.]

Laurel Kaskurs
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 3:46pm

That sounds like something I will have to read about more. Thank you for explaining these connections. MDEQ engineers face jail for what? Reporting lead? I would hope not. I am not a party to any Michigan lawsuit. I am not a scientist. I happen to know a lot of very smart people which is why I can speak confidently on matters of scientific fact. A good link for hazards of tritium in water can be found on the website of the people who want to shut Pilgrim nuclear plant. Cape cod times is where I found a document I liked which made it easier to understand. My friend, Jan Hemmer, studies Chernobyl and has a ton of excellent articles in his blog. I have read thousands of peer reviewed and other detailed analyses about such radioactive subjects. If you go to my Facebook timeline, a link for Anti Atomic Nuclear Library is an excellent starting point to learn. Agreenroadblogspot is another excellent place to share research. I always include links with my statements when they are allowed. They are not allowed here unfortunately. Canada has their own objections to the gas pipeline issues and nuke waste on Lake Huron problems just like Michigan and for excellent reasons. I hope science is used to make government decisions, but the lobbyists and their scientists like the IAEA and WHO are not going to adequately safeguard human life. The EPA failed to protect the water also, so the E.P.A should keep an eye out whenevet those nuclearmatters people come to town. Same for the pipeline people. Their standards are based on what they are willing to spend.

Laurel Kaskurs
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 3:13pm

So I am thinking the leaking gas pipelines that are under lake Michigan might be a problem if municipal water is drawn. This is why I am very very certain to avoid tap water because I also live near a major pipeline according to the map of my area. Not Michigan. I was born there and that is about all I have ever done there besides visit family. Every place with pipelines has a lead problem and nuclear power plants have tritium and lead problems that are part of their leakage also. We need a federal program like the New Deal to repair our infrastructure. That has to happen. By the way, nuke dump next to Lake Michigan is a horrible idea also because of ALL THE OTHER radioactive poison which gets into the water from Fermi 2, Cook, and that other one that there was an agreement finally about shutting down last I heard.
Until the infrastructure is repaired put out a city or state issued mailer telling people to buy gallons of triple purified filtered water from those machines outside from grocery stores. And make sure those machines with the top of the line purified, double reverse osmosis and carbon filtered water are present at each and every corner store's parking lot. I think it is well worth 35 cents a gallon. I would walk to that machine in the rain carrying the baby before drinking from the tap. The problem with tritium is that it is absorbed while bathing through the skin. Short showers equals longer lives, apparently. When my own city had a tritium problem they sent everyone a monthly magazine to inform us about the tritium levels. That is the reason I have never drank tap water in. 20 years.
The Gov's proposal for testing and declaring lead lines is better than the overly burdensome rules that exist for landlords sometimes which regulate peeling paint that children do not eat but can not live in a dwelling with peeling paint even if that lead paint is 50 layers underneath the original lead paint. That rule is used to eliminate low income housing and create homelessness when cities and landlords have disagreements.
So in a different version of the story, they do not want to replace paint covering. On gas pipelines. Paint was missing and someone called for a pipeline to be shut down. Probably if I had to randomly guess, a near Earth object was seen by sky watchers and the pipeline might have been an area of concern should one strike. So they likely went to close it by whatever means necessary. I am just thinking this might be a possibility because there was an object seen in the sky and then I saw a photo of a burning powerlime that same exact day. If we read all different news links, it provides enough clues and that is just my semi self educated guess. I hope this is helpful and please let me know what you think about the story because I am very curious.