Nick Krieger (@nckrieger):
For six months, Governor Rick Snyder has been talking about the need for new drinking-water safety regulations, including a lower lead action level. For six months, he has done nothing.
Six months. During that time, lawmakers in Governor Snyder's party could have passed legislation. Alternatively, Snyder's Department of Environmental Quality could have promulgated new rules. But we've seen no action on the issue.
This week, several Democrats in the Michigan Senate and Michigan House of Representatives decided to do something about it. They introduced legislation (SB 1118 and HB 5966) that would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to lower the lead action level for municipal drinking-water systems — just as Governor Snyder originally recommended. But don't expect to see this legislation make it out of committee anytime soon. After all, as I have written previously, several members of the GOP legislative majority have signaled their opposition to new environmental and drinking-water protections.
Snyder was one of the first people to talk about a tougher statewide lead standard. But just as I speculated last April, it seems increasingly likely that Snyder's words were empty talk. Perhaps it's because he knows that the lawmakers in his party won't support him.