All State Policies: Michigan
Below are short descriptions of relevant state agencies/departments by policy topic, followed by more information on specific policies.
Drinking Water: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has primary enforcement authority in Michigan for the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act under the legislative authority of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act. EGLE’s Water Resources Division protects and monitors Michigan’s waters. The Division’s mission is to make Michigan’s waters safe and clean for recreating, fishing, drinking, and healthy aquatic ecosystems. EGLE regulates all public water supplies, including approximately 1,400 community water supplies and 10,000 noncommunity water supplies. Michigan has nearly 1.12 million households served by private wells.
Bolstering CWA Protections
The plan includes funding for a Lead Service Line Replacement in Disadvantaged Communities Program – $102 million and Lead and Copper Drinking Water Asset Management Grants – $37.5 million, Clean Water Infrastructure Grants (eliminating sanitary sewer overflows; correcting combined sewer overflows; increasing green infrastructure) – $235 million, among other allocations.
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) adopted a ruleset that took effect August 3, 2020. The rules provide drinking water standards for public water systems to achieve. Michigan’s first-ever regulations limiting seven PFAS chemicals in drinking water covers roughly 2,700 public water supplies around the state and exceed the current US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance on the chemicals. The levels are set at 6 ppt for PFNA, 8 ppt for PFOA, and 16 ppt for PFOS. For more information, see the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) website on PFAS.
EO 2019-3 was signed by Governor Whitmer in February 2019, establishing Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) as an established advisory body within the Department of Environmental Quality (MPART was first created as a temporary group through executive directive in 2017). MPART consists of officials from 10 different state departments. MPART researches sources and locations of PFAS contamination to protect drinking water and alert the public of high levels of PFAS and to develop individualized response strategies and environmental response protocols for all positively identified sites. The Executive Order also created a Citizen’s Advisory Workgroup to represent concerns of communities impacted by PFAS and to provide input to MPART.
Michigan revised its LCR in 2018, making it the strictest in the nation. The lead action level of 15 ppb will drop to 12 ppb on January 1, 2025. The rule mandates full lead service line replacement within 20 years at a rate of at least five percent per year regardless of whether a water system exceeds the Lead Action Level. The rule bans partial replacement of lead service lines, and water utilities are responsible for paying the full cost of complete lead service line replacement. Sampling requirements and methods were also updated to improve reliability of sampling. A Distribution System Materials Inventory was also outlined in the rule, establishing timelines for updating comprehensive inventories of lead service lines, the status of replacement efforts, and informing residents of the presence of service line content. The rule also increased transparency, including the development of a state water system advisory council to help develop public awareness campaign materials. Every water system with more than 50,000 customers must also have a Water System Advisory Council.