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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Completes Review of Michigan State Drinking Water Program

10/26/2017
Contact Information: 
Allison Nowotarski (nowotarski.allison@epa.gov)
312-353-0967

CHICAGO (October 26, 2017) — After completing a periodic review of Michigan's drinking water program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is releasing a report that identifies key steps that Michigan should take to ensure that the state can continue to provide safe and clean drinking water to all of its residents.

In its report, EPA recommends that the state increase both funding and staffing resources, improve electronic data reporting and management, and ensure Michigan's program appropriately implements and complies with all aspects of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Michigan has already taken a number of key steps to address these issues, including hiring staff to enhance technical capability, revising lead and copper sampling protocol, and establishing a peer review process for systems that are planning to change water sources or treatment protocols.

EPA will continue to work closely with Michigan to help ensure that the recommended steps are taken to improve its drinking water program. EPA has already provided Michigan with almost half a million dollars in grants to help improve the state's IT and data tracking systems and stands ready to provide any additional assistance needed. As part of these efforts, EPA is particularly focused on improving Flint's drinking water system. Last month, EPA issued a letter to the City of Flint and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requesting information and action in three areas: sufficient staffing at the Flint Public Water System; completing a corrosion control study on Flint's current water source; and documenting a formal agreement and decision for access to GLWA water after September 30.

EPA regularly reviews state drinking water programs in states that have obtained primary enforcement responsibility (primacy) for the administration and enforcement of primary drinking water regulations and requirements applicable to public water systems within the state. This review looked at files covering the approximate time period of October 2013 and September 2015. This review is not a comprehensive investigation of the Flint emergency, as such reviews are being conducted by EPA's inspector general and other organizations, but rather a review of how the state was implementing the national primary drinking water regulations.

To read the report, visit: https://www.epa.gov/mi/2016-michigan-drinking-water-program-review.

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