Judge Rejects Lead Water Line Lawsuit

Local governments in Michigan say a rule requiring them to replace lead water lines is illegal.

Today, the court of claims rejected their lawsuit.

Following the Flint water crisis, then Governor Rick Snyder mandated the action level for lead drop from 15 parts per billion to 12 by 2025.

It required the replacement of lead lines connecting water mains to houses and other buildings by 2040.

Replacing the 500,000 lead pipes in Michigan could cost a billion dollars.

Local governments sued, saying the requirement is illegal and unfunded.

The court of claims judge that rejected the claim says financial protections are not triggered because local governments have chosen to provide water.

He also said there is no mandate they have to provide water.

On the national level, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a major overall on rules for reducing lead in drinking water.

Issues in many cities across the country are prompting the EPA to take action for the first time in decades.

Changes would include stronger testing requirements in schools and day cares.

Critics of the plan say it would give utility companies decades to fully replace pipes in places with high lead levels.