Detroit Evening Report: EGLE rolls out new program to ensure safe drinking water in schools

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A filtered water fountain and bottle filling station in a school.

A filtered water fountain and bottle filling station in a school.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) announced this week that it will soon roll out a plan to keep lead out of school drinking water in the state.

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The program is part of the Filter First legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last October.  The bipartisan legislation directs $50 million in funding and other resources to support the installation of lead-reducing water stations at schools and child care centers throughout the state.

“Every parent wants to make sure their children are safe, and the Filter First bills will protect access to clean drinking water at school,” said Whitmer in a news release. “With Filter First, we are taking action so all our kids have access to safe drinking water so they can focus on learning in class.”

Schools must develop a water management plan, install filters and test water annually as part of the program. Child care centers must follow the same protocols and test their water every two years, according to EGLE. It’s an additional measure to protect children from getting lead exposure, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says lead is unsafe at all levels in children.

EGLE and other organizations will host a webinar about the program on April 10 with guidance and a public comment period. 

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.