Communities sue over Michigan’s tough lead rules for water

DETROIT (AP) — A coalition of local governments and utilities has sued the state of Michigan over its implementation of the nation’s toughest drinking water rules for lead.

The Detroit-area group filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in the state’s Court of Claims. They argue the changes made in June place a heavy financial burden on communities, infringe on private property rights and don’t reach problematic fixtures inside residences.

The rules would eventually result in the replacement of all 500,000 lead service pipes. The so-called action level for lead would drop from 15 parts per billion — the federal limit — to 12 parts per billion in 2025.

State officials have said Flint’s water crisis exposed problems with lead rules and Michigan needed to adopt changes.

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