Judge denies challenge to new lead rules that followed Flint water crisis

Crews hydro-excavate in front of a Flint home to determine the composition of its water service line.
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) (7/26/2019) - A Michigan judge has rejected a legal challenge to the state's new rules governing lead in drinking water that were implemented after the Flint crisis.

Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray ruled Friday in favor of Michigan's environmental department, which set the tougher regulations last year. Murray said the rules are valid and are not "arbitrary."

The lawsuit was brought by Detroit-area municipalities and water utilities that are concerned about the cost of replacing underground lead pipes.

Under the rules, lead service lines connecting water mains to houses and other buildings will be replaced by 2040, unless a utility can show regulators it will take longer. The "action level" for lead will drop from 15 parts per billion, the federal limit, to 12 in 2025.

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