McCann introduces legislation to protect drinking water

Bill would restore state’s ability to set higher standards to safeguard families, communities

LANSING, Mich. (Feb. 18, 2021) — State Sen. Sean McCann (D–Kalamazoo) today introduced a bill to allow state government to set the highest and best standards for Michigan’s drinking water.

Senate Bill 147 would repeal Public Act 602 of 2018, which prohibits the state from setting standards that implement the best science and practices to safeguard Michigan’s water resources.

“The people of Kalamazoo County, and across the state, are still facing major threats to our environment, including PFAS in our water. Michigan’s environmental stewards shouldn’t have their hands tied when it comes to protecting our greatest natural resource, our communities, and our families,” Sen. McCann said. “We should be empowering state agencies and experts to take proactive action to clean up our environment and save lives, and this legislation is designed to do that.”

Federal regulations often exclude stronger, well-established data unique to each state. Existing law requires state officials to spend time and taxpayer dollars building a case for better protections any time they exceed the national standard, delaying the adoption of best practices and leaving residents vulnerable.

“COVID-19 has brought to light the importance of reducing pollution and contamination that threaten our health and make public health crises worse. This legislation makes public health a top priority by allowing state government to enact the most protective standards for reducing pollution in our air, land and water,” said Nick Occhipinti, government affairs director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “No stricter than federal legislation was backed by big polluters and quickly jammed through the process in the dark of night in the final days of the 2018 lame-duck session. We urge lawmakers to support this important legislation to free up state government to allow it to do its job to protect the health of communities.”

The bill was referred to the Senate Oversight Committee.


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