US House backs bill requiring EPA notify about lead

Photo: MSNBC / MGN

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The U.S. House has approved legislation to clarify the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to notify the public about danger from lead in their drinking water.

The bill is the first approved by Congress to respond to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Flint stopped using treated water from Detroit and switched to the Flint River in 2014 to save money. Regulators failed to ensure the water was treated and lead from aging pipes leached into the water supply, contributing to a spike in child lead exposure.

The House bill would direct the EPA to notify residents and health departments if the amount of lead found in a public water system requires action.

The EPA did not notify the public for months after learning that state officials were not treating Flint’s water.

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