Lansing — In proposing a tougher limit for lead in drinking water, Gov. Rick Snyder wants to lift Michigan from the depths of the Flint crisis to being a national model for lead monitoring that could help assess whether current rules are too lax.
Nearly 1,500 water systems serving 3.3 million Americans have exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead cap of 15 parts per billion at least once in the past three years.
If Michigan’s proposed new standard of 10 ppb were applied across the country, that number jumps to more than 2,500 systems with 18.3 million customers — a fivefold increase, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data.
Michigan would have 32 systems exceeding the stricter standard instead of 27 currently flagged under the EPA’s cap.