Watch CBSN Live

In wake of Flint water crisis, House passes drinking water safety bill

The EPA says filters appear to be working as Flint residents continue to wait for drinkable water to come through their taps
The EPA says filters appear to be working as ... 02:08

In response to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, where the tap water is contaminated with lead, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act.

It passed by a vote of 416 to two. Those opposed to the bill were Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Kentucky, and Todd Rokita, R-Indiana. The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.

The bill amends the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, requiring public water utilities to notify their consumers of excessive lead in their drinking water. It also requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create a strategic plan to improve information sharing between water utilities, the states, the EPA, and drinking water consumers when there is too much lead in drinking water.

Reps. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, who represents Flint, and Fred Upton, R-Michigan, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sponsored the bill.

On the House floor Wednesday, Upton called the bill "an important first step" in responding to the crisis in Flint. "Individual consumers will be told when their own house tests positive for lead problems," he explained. "If the community or states fail to notify the public, EPA will step in and do so."

Upton added, "Our hearts all go out to the folks of Flint, Michigan. The system let them down at every level, and that's unacceptable."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.