BREAKING: Kildee, Upton Flint Legislation Advances in the House
Bipartisan Legislation Ensures Tragedy in Flint Can Never Happen Again
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, applauded the swift passage of H.R. 4470, the Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act, by the U.S. House of Representatives today in a 416-2 vote. The bipartisan legislation was co-sponsored by all 14 members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation and is similar to legislation in the U.S. Senate sponsored by Senators Stabenow and Peters.
“Our hearts all go out to Flint. All folks want is the peace of mind that their governments are looking out for their best interest, and that their water is safe,” said Upton, who also chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “I wish this bill was not necessary, but it is. The system let the people of Flint down at every level, and that’s unacceptable. The entire situation breaks your heart, and we have a responsibility, working together as Republicans and Democrats, to fix the problem in Flint. This bill is an important step.”
H.R. 4470 specifically requires drinking water systems to notify customers when 10 percent of its customers have lead levels above the “lead action level” of 15 parts per billion. It also closes a gap in current law by requiring that if a State fails to notify water customers within 24 hours of receiving information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about a potential effect on human health from short-term lead exposure, the EPA must issue the notification.
H.R. 4470 also requires the EPA to create a strategic plan for handling and improving information flow between its own personnel, workers at water utilities, state officials, and affected consumers. This ensures that a planning template will be in place to prevent crises, so that water systems and states are not creating a reaction plan on-the-fly after the crisis hits.
For more information on H.R. 4470, please click here.