Flint Passes EPA Standards

Check out this story from 2017 on the water situation in Flint Michigan from the local ABC Channel 13 News.

Flint meets EPA guidelines, but lead still a concern nationwide

by Annie Andersen

Friday, September 15th 2017

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Virginia Tech is finally delivering good news for residents o Flint Michigan.

The latest round of water testing by the school's Flint Water study shows the city's water now falls under the legal limit for lead, of 15 parts per billion. The 183 houses tested in Flint are now testing at 8.3 parts per billion.

"The state indicates Flint is meeting the EPA action level and our data has confirmed that," said Min Tang, a member of Virginia Tech's Flint Water Study.

It was an emotion day for another member of the team, Maddie Brouse, who said ""It's really comforting for me, because I've seen how concerned the citizens are about their water."

However, program leader and Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards warns Flint isn't the only place with a lead problem.

"Cities like Flint and other cities around the country have to decide what else they want to do to protect themselves to make sure that vulnerable groups are not being exposed to too much lead through their drinking water," Edwards advised.

A loose, and outdated, EPA rule about the Lead and Copper Rule, says only 90% of places tested have to fall under the guidelines of the Lead and Copper Rule. The rest of places tested can have any amount of lead in water.

Edwards says because of that, people with lead service pipes, or who aren't sure,should get a lead filter.

The Lead and Copper Rule is supposed to be updated on a regular basis, but the rule is 6 years overdo. Joel Beauvais, the former Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water, told Congress the update would be ready in 2017. The EPA now says it will be sometime in 2018.

Either way, Edwards says he isn't holding his breath.

"We're 6 years overdue, and every time it's delayed there's another possible excuse. I don't know. I don't know when it's going to end, but it's encouraging that a lot of cities aren't waiting for the EPA to put forth their protections."

Edwards added, he isn't sure how a 30% proposed budget cut to the EPA will impact the update to the rule, but said it can't help it.

Since we have been tracking the water situation in Flint, we have found that the water elsewhere in the country isn’t all that great. Every week I’ll get a news story in my emails saying, “You thought Flint was bad, check out ….”

How’s your water?