Challenge to State Rules Stirs Up New Michigan Lead In Drinking Water Crisis

Water Utilities Attack Lead and Copper Rule Protections as Flint Water Crisis Drags On

LANSING, MI – A case set to be filed this week challenging key anti-lead contamination rules threatens to re-open the state’s ugly drinking water history, just a few months after Michigan has taken action to put the nation’s strongest protections in place, according to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Water utilities and municipal officials, including staff reporting to Mayor Duggan in Detroit, are poised to sue to attack the state’s new Lead and Copper Rule which was drafted to prevent further situations like the water crisis in Flint. That suit could be filed this week and likely includes sign off from numerous city officials.

Following is a reaction from Cyndi Roper, senior water policy advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Mayor Duggan can stop this rollback in its tracks. He simply cannot allow his water system—and selected representatives on the Great Lakes Water Authority—to lead the charge to kill protections people in this state and his city desperately need. Mayor Duggan and the other mayors who are helping to push this rollback should join with us to fight for funding to get the lead pipes out rather than fight against safe drinking water. They need to really understand what this suit is about and its implications for their residents.” 

More information on the pending lawsuit against the Lead and Copper Rule can be found at

Cities and water systems that have signed on to challenge the state’s strengthened Lead and Copper Rule include:

Allen Park; Bay City; Beverly Hills; Bingham Farms; Bloomfield Hills; Bloomfield Township; Boyne City; Brownstown Township; Canton Township; Center Line; Clare; Clawson; Clinton (Village of); Dearborn; Detroit; Douglas; Elk Rapids; Farmington; Ferndale; Gibraltar; Gladstone; Grosse Pointe; Grosse Pointe Woods; Hamtramck; Hart; Hazel Park; Huntington Woods; Huron Township; Inkster; Jackson; Jonesville; Kingsley; Lake Orion; Lapeer; Lincoln Park; Livonia; Montague; North Muskegon; Northville Township; Oak Park; Plymouth; Riverview; Rochester; Rochester Hills; Romulus; Rogers City; Royal Oak; Saginaw; Southeastern Oakland Co. Water Authority; Sumpter Township; Taylor; Warren; Wayne; Westland.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC


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