House Passes Kildee-Upton Bill to Strengthen Public Notification Requirements Related to Lead Levels in Water
The U.S. House of Representatives today, by a vote of 416-2, passed legislation championed by Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06) related to the ongoing Flint water crisis. The Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act strengthens requirements to have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notify the public when concentrations of lead in drinking water exceed actionable levels. It requires the EPA to create a strategic plan for handling and improving information flow between water utilities, the states, the EPA, and affected consumers. It also ensures consumer notification when the corrosiveness of water being transported in a lead pipe could leech into public drinking water.
“I thank my colleagues in Congress for taking swift action on this bill to start addressing the Flint water crisis,” Congressman Kildee said. “This bill simply states that when there are unacceptable levels of lead in people's drinking water, the public should be immediately told about it. This bill in itself wouldn’t have prevented the crisis in my hometown, but it is a necessary first step to ensure that such an emergency doesn’t happen again.”
Congressman Kildee today also reiterated his call for Congress to consider comprehensive legislation he has introduced in addition to today’s bill that focuses on immediate and long-term investments for Flint. His legislation includes investments in infrastructure repairs, wrap-around services for families and children exposed to lead, economic development support for the city and long-term health monitoring for Flint families.
“I applaud today’s action but hope it is only a first step in addressing this crisis,” Congressman Kildee continued. “While it’s clear that the state created this man-made crisis, the federal government has in its capacity to help. Congress must act without delay to help Flint families get the immediate and long-term resources they need to recover.”