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Public Hearing Held On Proposed Lead and Copper Rule, Public Comment Period Extended Until March 21st

Posted on March 2, 2018 by Dene Westbrook

Last night the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing on the proposed lead and copper rule.Comments were provided by about 30 individuals and organizations. Everyone who spoke will have their comments added to the public record.

Here are some of the key highlights from the draft rule.

  • Reduce the action level from 15 parts per billion down to 10 parts per billion beginning January 1st 2024
  • Require suppliers to to a materials inventory by 2020 and a detailed inventory by 2024 with verification methods.
  • For a water supply that exceeds the lead action level after installing corrosion control shall annually replace not less than 7% of the initial number of lead service lines in the distribution system at the water supply’s expense.
  • For supplies that doesn’t use corrosion control and exceeds 5 parts per billion they shall annually replace not less than 5% of the initial number of lead service lines in the distribution system at the water supply’s expense.
  • All water suppliers that are under 5 pars per billion shall replace lead services lines based on an asset management plan. There is no specific schedule for replacement but it shall be done at the water supply’s expense.
  • Creates a household action level of 40 parts per billion
  • Adjusts sampling requirements
  • Creates a statewide drinking water advisory council that would assist DEQ in developing ways to educate the public about lead exposure

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 specific constitutional provisions, the Headlee Amendment or the Bolt decision. For key messages on the draft rule please click on the following link. LCR Key Messages

For a copy of the draft rule and the regulatory impact statement please click the following links.

The public comment period has been extended until 5:00 p.m. on March 21, 2018. Anyone that wishes to submit comments in writing may do so at the following email address, DEQ-LCR-Comments@michigan.gov.

The League has partnered with the Michigan Townships Association, American Water Works Association, SEMCOG, Oakland Co., Great Lakes Water Authority and the Detroit Water and Sewer System, to develop a coordinated response with our specific concerns on the draft rule and specific suggestions on an alternative approach. That will be completed in the coming days and we will share that with our members once it is finished. We also encourage you to send in your comments on the rule and request that you be as specific as possible with your concerns.

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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