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DEQ to Host a Public Information Session November 29th Regarding Proposed Changes to the State Lead and Copper Rule

Posted on November 28, 2017 by John LaMacchia

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is hosting a public information session regarding proposed changes to the state Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).  .

When:  Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

5 to 6 p.m.        Opportunity for public one-on-one Q&A and resource table displays
6 to 6:45 p.m.   Formal presentation on proposed LCR reforms
6:45 to 8 p.m.   Public Q&A

Where: Lansing Center, Ballrooms 5-8
333 E. Michigan Ave
Lansing, Michigan 48933

Why:    The purpose of the public information session is to provide information to and answer questions from the public regarding proposed changes to the state LCR.  After all questions received on Nov. 29 are evaluated, final proposed rules will be made available at least 30 days in advance of the formal public hearing in January, which is tentatively scheduled for the last week of that month.

The Michigan Municipal League is a participant on the LCR Stakeholder Workgroup that is assisting MDEQ with recommendations to address modifications to the Administrative Rules promulgated pursuant to Michigan’s Safe Drinking Water Act, 1976 PA 399, as amended. The ongoing discussion continues to be about how to best protect the public from lead exposure, but unfortunately the preliminary draft rules add additional burdens to community water supply systems that run counter to the principals of asset management and may ultimately hinder the protection of public health.

The draft rule would reduce the action level from 15 parts per billion down to 10 parts per billion, require communities to map their existing system to identify the presence of lead, require that a community water supplier be responsible for the replacement and cost of a private lead service lines, and many other requirements that could pose significant hardships on a community. The League has taken a stance that we are not opposed to determining how much lead is in our systems or the need to systematically begin removing the lead from our systems, but it cannot be done in such a way that reduces our ability to improve the overall performance of the system, causes a financial hardship or conflicts with the Headlee Amendment or the Bolt decision.

Link to the Preliminary Draft Rule: 2017 Preliminary Draft Lead and Copper Rule

Link to the DEQ Summary Document: Summary Lead and Copper Rule Requirements

The Governor has requested this be placed on an aggressive timeline and a finalized draft rule should be ready by the first of the year. Should our concerns not be addressed through the stakeholder process we will need to be prepared to offer public comments on the rule in early January. In the mean time we will continue to work with those stakeholders that have common concerns with the process and draft rules to make the necessary adjustment to help prevent exposure to lead while still allowing for the efficient management of our water supply systems.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

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