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EPA Amends Emergency Order on Flint Drinking Water

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an amendment to update its January 2016 Safe Drinking Water Act emergency order to the state of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the city of Flint. EPA’s amended order provides additional details for system upgrades necessary to provide safe and reliable drinking water to Flint residents. All other requirements in the January 2016 order remain in effect.

Throughout the year, EPA, the state and the city have participated in numerous technical meetings and weekly calls to prioritize actions to comply with the January order. EPA’s amendment clarifies requirements and outlines specific steps that must be completed before the city can implement its decision to switch to a new source of drinking water. The amendment provides Michigan and Flint with flexibility to establish a plan and a schedule to meet EPA’s requirements.

EPA has advised Michigan and Flint that working closely together is critical to develop the expertise and secure the financing necessary for a successful switch. The plan -- and required monthly updates -- will be posted to Michigan’s website to keep the public informed of progress.

The amendment specifically requires Michigan and Flint to take the following steps before switching to and distributing water from a new source:    

  • finish construction on the new pipeline connecting the current water treatment plant to the new source water;
  • effectively treat new source water for at least three months, and
  • demonstrate compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, including requirements for corrosion control treatment and water quality monitoring. 

To see the amended order, go to www.epa.gov/flint



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