On November 30, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI). A few highlights from the proposed rule are:
- Achieving 100% Lead Pipe Replacement within 10 years.
- Water systems are currently required to provide an initial inventory of their lead service lines by October 16, 2024. Under the proposed LCRI, all water systems would be required to regularly update their inventories, create a publicly available service line replacement plan, and identify the materials of all service lines of unknown material.
- Changes the protocol for tap sampling where water systems would be required to collect first liter and fifth liter samples at sites with lead service lines and use the higher of the two values when determining compliance with the rule.
- EPA is proposing to lower the lead action level from 15 µg/L to 10 µg/L. When a water system’s lead sampling exceeds the action level, the system would be required to inform the public and take action to reduce lead exposure while concurrently working to replace all lead pipes.
- Water systems with multiple lead action level exceedances (3 out of 5 failures) would be required to conduct additional outreach to consumers and make filters certified to reduce lead available to all consumers.
For more information on the proposed changes, please visit the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/proposed-lead-and-copper-rule-improvements.
The MWUA encourages our member utilities to avail themselves of the proposed changes and provide feedback. The EPA welcomes public input as part of the regulatory development process. EPA invites members of the public to review the proposed LCRI and supporting information and provide written comments at www.regulations.gov, Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0801. Follow the online instructions for submitting written comments. Comments must be submitted to the public docket during the 60-day public comment period.
The EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on January 16, 2024, at which the public will be invited to provide EPA with verbal comments.
The MWUA and NEWWA are collaborating efforts to provide feedback. If you have questions please reach out to Rob Pontau at [email protected].