Brinks introduces legislation to protect veterans’ drinking water

Bill requires lead testing and remediation at veterans’ facilities across Michigan

LANSING — Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) today announced an expanded push to protect drinking water with a bill that would require lead testing of water in veterans’ facilities. The legislation comes as more communities and health officials across the country call for safeguards against lead in drinking water in schools and other facilities.

Senate Bill 396, introduced by Sen. Brinks, would establish practices similar to those carried out at schools, day cares and adult foster care facilities to test lead levels in drinking water at places like the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

“Our nation’s veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to protect this country and help communities in times of need or natural disasters. Access to clean drinking water is one of our most basic human needs,” Sen. Brinks said. “It is our responsibility to ensure Michiganders — including former service members who defended our freedom and dedicated their lives to keeping others safe — can trust that their water is safe.”

Testing would include sampling, analysis and remediation if lead results exceed state safety standards.

“Toxic water contamination crises in communities across Michigan have proven that we cannot wait until tragedies strike and families fall ill to put safeguards in place,” Sen. Brinks said. “We must look out for every resident of our state, especially our most vulnerable.”

Senate Bill 396 was referred to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

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