"US EPA Plans To Hold Meetings With AT&T, Verizon On Lead Telecom Cables"

"WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday it is seeking meetings this month with AT&T and Verizon as it continues to closely review the potential impact of lead-containing telecommunications cables.

EPA has conducted independent sampling in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Louisiana and to date has seen "no immediate threats that would require emergency or urgent removal actions," the agency said, adding it expects to collect more data early this year to better characterize concentrations of lead near cables.

The EPA testing was prompted by an investigation by the Wall Street Journal of lead covered telecommunications cables across the United States. AT&T and Verizon fell after the newspaper reported the anticipated meetings, with AT&T closing down 3.8% and Verizon down 3%.

AT&T and Verizon declined to comment and referred questions to industry trade group USTelecom, said the "companies requested to meet with the agency to discuss the technical results when they submitted them last year. There is still a desire to do so.""

David Shepardson reports for Reuters January 11, 2024.

Source: Reuters, 01/12/2024