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Voters gather in Lansing to mark World Water Day

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MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – As World Water Day was celebrated across the Great Lakes State, concerned voters went to Lansing, demanding lawmakers do more to protect Michigan’s most precious natural resource.

Nearly 380,000 Michigan residents get their water from systems that would fail to meet a new lead-safety standard.

That standard was proposed by Governor Rick Snyder, it’s a standard he plans to implement within the next three years.

On Wednesday, lawmakers proposed additional bills to make sure our water is safe to drink.

“We can never let them forget the impact and the blood that is on their hands for what they have done to our children, our seniors, our most vulnerable. We should never let them forget,” said Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo D-Detroit.

Michiganders are fired up and not letting lawmakers off the hood when it comes to protecting the Great Lakes.

“96 percent of our fresh water in America comes from the Great Lakes,” said Detroit resident Roslin Osborn.

Osborn and her friends gathered at the state capitol Wednesday to sound the alarm on businesses and possible federal budget cuts that could damage your drinking water and health.

“Corporate polluters are coming before the health of the people,” said Dorthea Thomas.

“As a Flint resident I am very cautious of drinking anything from my tap,” said Rep. Sheldon Neely, D-Flint.

On World Water Day, Rep. Neeley was pleased the EPA finalized a 100 million dollar grant designated to help Flint with pipe replacement, but he says more needs to be done, so he is reintroducing bills to ensure what happened in Flint doesn’t happen elsewhere.

Some of those bills would require lead testing of child care facilities and schools.

“These are some of the holes that we found as a byproduct of what happened inside the City of Flint,” said Rep. Neeley.

Neeley says Flint is thirsty for clean water and solutions, and that’s what lawmakers owe to all Michigan residents.

“We won’t back down, we’re not tired. We are not giving up,” said Rep. Gay-Dagnogo. “We demand quality, fresh water for all Michigan citizens. It’s the right thing to do.”

Altogether, 23 water safety and affordability bills have been reintroduced in the state legislature. Many of the bills have had bipartisan support in the past.

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