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Michigan to monitor drinking water safety, with help from EPA

Sep 16, 2014

Credit Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

 

The images of green water in Lake Erie and foul, toxic tap water in Toledo certainly got many of us at least thinking about what's coming out of our taps.

What is Michigan doing to protect our drinking water, the water we get from the Great Lakes system, against cyanobacteria, the toxin that led to a ban on tap water usage in Toledo last month?

Dan Wyant is the director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He says there needs to be a comprehensive plan to deal with the problems. 

"We all need to work toward improving water qualities throughout not only the Great Lakes, but also rivers and streams," says Wyant.

However, there's not a federal benchmark on safe levels for drinking cyanobacteria-tainted water. In fact, many states look to the World Health Organization for a standard. 

Wyant says the state has met with EPA who is now committed to moving forward with the standard. 

"It needs to be science-based. It needs to be protective. We need to engage the scientific peer community to give us that standard," says Wyant.

* Listen to the interview with Dan Wyant above.