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  • Rob DeMalo

EPA Announces New Lead and Copper Rule

Expanding protections for children and communities at risk of lead exposure


It has been nearly three (3) decades since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). While the changes are comprehensive and aim to strengthen every aspect of it, many might say they are long overdue. In brief, the EPA states three (3) core goals of the LCR updates:

  1. Better protect children at elementary schools and child care facilities

  2. Get the lead out of drinking water

  3. Empower communities through information

What may seem like broad and lofty objectives, the revisions set forth have very succinct guidelines that can make a positive impact in the right direction. Here are some of the key changes to be enforced:

  • Community water systems will now be required to test for lead in drinking water at elementary schools and child care facilities.

  • Newly improved, science-based tap sampling procedures will be instituted to better locate elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

  • A reduced threshold of 10 ppb will expedite more and rapid implementation of corrosion control treatment and lead service line replacement to reduce lead in drinking water.

  • An information infrastructure will be created to include: o Localized public inventories of lead service lines; o Timely testing notifications with home and building owners replacement options; o Funding resources to support such recommendations.

With the irreversible and life-long health effects shown to result from lead exposure, and its prevalence within tap water, the updated, stronger LCR is welcome. More information is available on the EPA web site or contact any member of the IEC team for details.


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