Michigan Governor Whitmer Issues Order for Safe Drinking Water

LANSING, MI ­– To ensure every Michigan community has access to safe drinking water, today Governor Whitmer issued a multi-pronged directive to strengthen the state’s rules, regulations, and policies. The state is providing free bottled water to Benton Harbor, Michigan, due to high levels of lead.

The following is a reaction by Cyndi Roper, senior policy advocate for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council): 

“The Governor’s directive is a positive step towards cleaning up Michigan’s tap water. Instead of communities fending for themselves, the government is rightfully stepping up to make sure every Michigander, wherever they live, is confident in every glass of water. The devil is in the details, and dependent on the will from agencies and equitable funding. With this action today, Governor Whitmer put Michigan back on track to be a national leader for safe drinking water.”


Last month, the State of Michigan began delivering bottled water to Benton Harbor, after issuing an advisory that residents not use tap water for "cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, and mixing powdered infant formula.” In September,  a group of 20 Michigan and national organizations filed an emergency petition with the EPA to secure a free source of safe drinking water for Benton Harbor’s nearly 10,000 residents, among other requests including full removal of the nearly 6,000 lead service lines delivering water to homes. The petition was filed on behalf of Benton Harbor Community Water Council, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, NRDC, Flint Rising, People’s Water Board Coalition, Michigan Welfare Rights Coalition, Water You Fighting For, Safe Water Engineering, LLC, Highland Park Human Rights Coalition, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Clean Water Action, Ecology Center, Freshwater Future, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Detroit People’s Platform, Campaign for Lead Free Water, For Love of Water, and Environmental Transformation Movement of Flint.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) 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, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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