First established in 1991, the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) was developed to control the contaminants in drinking water by requiring water utilities to test tap water for lead and use corrosion control to prevent leaching of lead into water. However, it had substantial shortcomings, and the agency began the lengthy process to propose long-term revisions to overhaul the rule in 2010.
Last October, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed revisions to the LCR and is accepting public comment until February 12, 2020.
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched a series of blogs assessing the revisions and recommending improvements:
Overview: "Despite its flaws, states and communities should get ahead of the curve on EPA’s proposed lead in drinking water rule" (Dec. 10). Provides an overview of key strengths and weaknesses in the proposal and highlights opportunities for proactive action by states and communities.
Lead Service Lines: "EDF asks EPA to strengthen key lead service line definition, inventory, and notification provisions in its proposed revision to the LCR" (Dec. 13). Summarizes EDF’s first comments to EPA which focus on improvements needed to the agency’s definition of a lead service line (LSL), requirements for water systems to develop LSL inventories, and notification of individual consumers who drink water from an LSL.
Schools and Child Care: "Promising proposal for addressing lead in schools and licensed child care – but gaps remain" (Jan. 23). Explains EPA’s proposal to require water utilities to test every school and licensed child care facilities, and identifies key flaws with the proposed approach.
Future blogs in EDF’s series will cover other aspects of the proposed revisions, including the potential health equity implications of EPA’s proposed approach to replacing lead service lines. See the latest here.
Comments on EPA’s proposed revisions may be submitted at Regulations.gov in Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0300 through February 12, 2020.
Learn more in NDWA's previous post, "Proposed New Lead and Copper Rule Released for Comment Period."
Special thanks to Lindsay McCormick, MPH, Program Manager, Chemicals and Health, Environmental Defense Fund, for writing this post.