Monday, September 25, 2017

House committee debates bill to improve communication about drinking water lead levels

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
The House Energy and Commerce Committee began debate on H.R. 4470, a bill drafted in response to the Flint, Michigan, drinking water crisis, with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who chairs the committee, delivering an opening statement.

“The Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act ensures that the public learns of excessive lead levels in their drinking water by setting forth how and when states, EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], and public water utilities must communicate their findings,” Upton said. “The bill also strengthens public notification rules when lead levels are exceeded. Individual consumers will be told when their own house tests positive for lead problems. If the community or states fail to notify the public, EPA will step in and do so.”

Additionally, the bill would require the EPA to develop a communication plan to ensure that information regarding lead levels is effectively communicated between itself, states, water utilities and water consumers. Consumers would also be notified when their water is corrosive enough to lead to lead leaching.

“What is said on the floor today will not do anything to ease the mind of a parent in Flint,” Upton said. “The entire situation breaks your heart. But we have a responsibility, working together as Republicans and Democrats, to fix the problem. This bill is an important step.”


Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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