Protecting Drinking Water in the Great Lakes States
The principal law that regulates drinking water safety is the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA provides a comprehensive set of water quality standards, enforcement authority, and reporting requirements for water systems that provide water to the public. Like other environmental laws that follow the cooperative federalism model, the federal government provides states the opportunity to implement the law themselves. The SDWA provides minimum standards that states can either adopt or improve on. In other words, the SDWA acts as the federal floor; any state that wishes to implement it must do so at least as protectively as the federal government, but can have as high a ceiling as it wishes.
Safe Water Engineering, LLC assisted American Rivers and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in writing this report that details how the great lakes states have chosen to implement the federal SDWA and adopt additional requirements that add protections beyond those required by the SDWA.