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New lead-regulation plan teased by embattled Michigan governor

Gov. Snyder called EPA rules “dumb and dangerous”

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Following the Flint water crisis turned national scandal, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder called for stricter lead-test regulations—but without giving any specifics about what they might be.

The new rules will comply with "much higher standards"

Snyder, who came under questioning at a Congressional hearing last week, didn’t go into detail about what the new regulations for the state would be, but a state document laying out the next steps for Flint will said the new rules will comply with "much higher standards."

The new rules come as Snyder, who’s been accused of not doing enough about the water crisis, tries to shift blame for the disaster. The city has had unsafe lead levels in its tap water since 2014, when Flint switched its water supply from the Detroit system tapping Lake Huron to the corrosive water of the Flint River, as a money-saving measure.

Under the Environmental Protection Agency rules, which Snyder called "dumb and dangerous" last week, a water system must control corrosion if lead concentrations exceed 15 parts per billion in more than 10 percent of customer tap sampled.

Flint has had unsafe water since 2014

"About 10 percent of your population could have lead in their water over the action limit and the EPA will sign off and say that your municipal water system is OK," Snyder spokesman Ari Adler told the Associated Press.

Flint switched its water source to the Flint River on April 25th, 2014; by the summer, residents were complaining about foul smells and skin rashes. Beginning in August, the city told its residents to boil their tap water. It wasn’t until September 2015 that the city of Flint issued a lead warning, instructing residents to drink and cook only with cold tap water. Lead poisoning can lead to anemia, kidney failure, and brain damage, especially in children, according to the World Health Organization.