Rebuilding trust in Michigan’s drinking water

National News

From lead found in Flint’s drinking water in 2014 to PFAS in several communities in 2017, Michigan has been dealing with a crisis of confidence on water issues.

Michigan officials say they need to regain the public’s trust in their drinking water.

This was a challenge the Michigan Department Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy found itself facing in early 2018.

Two years later, the city of Flint is very close to completing the removal of lead service lines along with the strictest lead and copper rules in the nation, according to EGLE.

Michigan is also now recognized as a national leader in responding to the issue of PFAS contamination.

EGLE is hoping to establish a track record of improving water quality and slowly restoring public trust.

In 2018 the newly created Michigan PFAS Action Response Team launched a $1.7 million sampling program that tested every community water supply in the state for PFAS.

The only state in the country that attempted such a study and found that 97% of the state’s public and school drinking water was either PFAS-free or only contained trace amounts of this contaminant.

Since data alone does not build trust, Michigan’s response to both PFAS and lead created public awareness campaigns.

In 2019, the Environmental Justice Public Advocate and Clean Water Advocate were created to work together to engage communities to address issues and complaints of environmental inequity.

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