New E.P.A. Lead Standards Would Slow Replacement of Dangerous Pipes

"WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday proposed new regulations on lead and copper in drinking water, updating a nearly 30-year-old rule that may have contributed to the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Mich., that began in 2015.

The draft plan, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Andrew Wheeler, at a news conference in Green Bay, Wis., includes some provisions designed to strengthen oversight of lead in drinking water. But it skips a pricey safety proposal advocated by public health groups and water utilities: the immediate replacement of six million lead pipes that connect homes to main water pipes. The proposed new rule would also more than double the amount of time allotted to replace lead pipes in water systems that contain high levels of lead.

Mr. Wheeler framed the new regulations as a major step forward in protecting water supplies. ...

Although the new proposal would extend the timetable for replacing lead pipes, it would include new requirements that schools and day care centers be tested for lead, and, if elevated lead levels are found, customers would have to be told within 24 hours, not the current standard of 30 days. It would also require water utilities to conduct inventories of their lead service pipes and publicly report their locations."

Coral Davenport reports for the New York Times October 10, 2019.


"Drinking Water EPA To Unveil First Lead Standards Revamp In Decades" (Greenwire)

"For The First Time In Decades, EPA Is Overhauling How Communities Must Test For Lead In Water" (Washington Post)

"EPA Proposes Long-Awaited Rule Changes For Lead In Drinking Water" (Detroit News)

"Trump EPA Proposes Overhaul Of Lead In Drinking Water Rule, Critics Call Plan Weak" (Reuters)

"EPA Proposes Rewrite Of Rules On Lead Contamination In Water" (AP)

Prepublication Federal Register Notice: "Proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions" (EPA)


Source: NY Times, 10/11/2019