LANSING – Leading clean water advocates today called on Governor Rick Snyder to establish a “Marshall Plan” for water ahead of the final State of the State Address tomorrow evening. Leaders from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (MLCV), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) detailed monumental challenges facing Michigan’s drinking water and the need for bold action from Gov. Snyder in 2018.
“Gov. Snyder has called for a Marshall Plan for talent – what we also need is a Marshall Plan for water to address the looming threats to our drinking water, Great Lakes, rivers and streams,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of Michigan LCV. “Challenges to Michigan’s drinking water, from dangerous lead pipes to toxic groundwater must be addressed, and we are demanding Gov. Snyder take action and protect the health of Michigan families during his last year in office.”
Drinking water quality, an issue that plagued Flint, is impacting communities across Michigan. There are an estimated half-million lead service lines in Michigan. Dozens of municipal water systems have lead concentrations that exceed new proposed action levels for Lead and Copper– including Monroe, Bay City, Benton Harbor and Holland Township. Within days, the State will be making a decision on whether or not it will require communities to replace the lead pipes connecting homes to its water mains.
“Making sure all communities in Michigan replace their dangerous lead pipes should be a top priority for Gov. Snyder in 2018,” said Cyndi Roper, Michigan senior policy advocate for NRDC. “All communities in Michigan should have affordable, lead-free drinking water, and Gov. Snyder should put in place dedicated resources to help communities replace their lead pipes.”
Michigan’s drinking water issues are not limited to lead service lines. Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents face drinking water contamination from bacteria, pesticides, industrial chemicals, petroleum and other pollutants. Further, many water quality issues are caused by deteriorating water pipes and treatment plants as well as agricultural pollution and failing septic systems.
“Families from northern Michigan to Rockford are grappling with contaminated groundwater wells from decades-old industrial pollutants, and that’s an issue Gov. Snyder and the Michigan Legislature need to address immediately,” said James Clift, policy director for MEC. “Michigan’s water quality problem is a ticking time bomb that threatens the health of our children and the future of our state, and it can’t be ignored any longer.”
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