For Immediate Release: October 10, 2019
Trump's Revisions to Rule Delays Lead Pipe Replacement
On Thursday, the U.S. EPA announced long-awaited revisions to their Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The EPA’s proposed rule is the first major update to the LCR since 1991, the first time water utilities were required to test for lead in drinking water and notify the public if elevated levels were discovered.
There is no safe level of lead in drinking water. The greatest contributor to lead in residential drinking water is lead service lines, the water pipes that connect water mains to residential buildings.
Under current regulations, water utilities must replace 7% of lead service lines annually if there is a continual exceedance of the lead action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). EPA's proposal, however, would reduce that replacement rate to 3% annually if there is a continual exceedance - delaying total lead service line removal by decades.
The following statement can be attributed to Rob Hayes, clean water associate at Environmental Advocates of New York:
"Once again, the Trump administration has left public health out to dry. Trump's proposal is a step backwards, not forwards, in the fight against lead in drinking water, and will leave communities exposed to life-altering neurotoxins for decades to come.
Families across New York deserve clean water when they turn on the kitchen tap. To prevent another water crisis like Flint or Newark, every single lead pipe must be dug out of the ground in the next ten years. Since the federal government won't take action to make this a reality, our state government must. Addressing lead in drinking water must be at the top of the Legislature's agenda when they return to Albany in January.”