While outrage over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan lingers, the law responsible for monitoring lead in the water may not be changed until 2017 at the earliest. Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality has take the blame but also acknowledge how vague the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Lead and Copper Rule is.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Lead and Copper Rule was enacted in 1991 for the purpose of regulating the amounts of those substances in public water drinking systems. The law was to be updated regularly but was last updated in 2007, with the most recent revisions being due in 2013.
This unclear information played a part in the way that Michigan DEQ handled its water treatment:
Michigan DEQ officials claim the wording of the rule allowed them to take water from the Flint River, run it through the city’s treatment plant for 18 months without adding corrosion controls and send it through the distribution system to home taps — actions that contaminated Flint’s water supply with elevated levels of lead.