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Judge denies challenge to new lead rules that followed Flint

Court of Claims judge rules in favor of Michigan's environmental department

Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray ruled Friday in favor of Michigan's environmental department, which set the tougher regulations last year.

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

Murray said the rules are valid, nor are they "arbitrary." 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.