DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – An expert who two years ago warned about dangerous lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water has declared a qualified end to the crisis.

Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards said Friday that, after several rounds of testing, lead levels are back to normal — for a city with old lead pipes.Edwards the levels now meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for lead; so, if that’s your standard, then the crisis is officially over.

That said, Edwards urges the continued use of filters and warns of a “crisis of confidence” among residents who blame government for the water problems.

“It’s acknowledged that this is an out-of-date standard, that meeting the action level is nothing to brag about,” Edwards said. “And for that reason the state is continuing to supply filters, lead filters free of charge to Flint residents.”

[State Police: Non-Residents Taking Free Bottled Water Meant For Flint]

Flint’s water was tainted with the toxin for at least 18 months, as the city tapped the Flint River but didn’t treat the water to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead leached from old pipes and fixtures.

Edwards’ team has collected samples from 138 Flint homes, with the fifth and likely final round last month.

Multiple people, including Michigan’s chief medical officer, are facing criminal charges and at least $14 million has been spent by the state hiring lawyers in connection with the Flint water crisis.

[Catch up on this story]

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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