EPA proposes requiring lead water pipes to be replaced in 10 years

AP19081562963129 e1680616681370

The Biden administration on Thursday proposed to require drinking water pipes made with lead to be replaced in 10 years. 

Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly proposed “Lead and Copper Rule Improvements,” water systems would have to replace lead service lines in 10 years, with limited exceptions.  

The proposal comes nearly a decade after the start of the Flint water crisis, perhaps the nation’s best known lead contamination incident. About 99,000 Flint, Michigan, residents were exposed to lead after a 2014 water supply switch caused lead pipes to corrode and resulted in the substance leaching into the water. 

There is no safe level of exposure to lead, which damages children’s brains and nervous systems. 

Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who found high levels of lead in Flint children and drew attention to the issue, praised the rule in a press call with administration officials, saying she was “overjoyed.”

“These improvements ensure that in a not-too-distant future, there will never be another city and another child poisoned by their pipes,” she said. 

There are currently about 9.2 million lead pipes serving water to homes in the U.S.

The EPA’s proposal would lower the level of lead in the water, at which systems are required to take action in the meantime. 

Currently, if 10 percent of water samples are found to have at least 15 parts per billion of lead, water systems need to take mitigation actions. 

The EPA’s proposal would drop that number down to 10 parts per billion. 

“Moving from 15 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion is a very significant public health improvement. It is going to compel a significant number of water systems to be taking interim measures like corrosion control,” Radhika Fox, the EPA’s top water official, told reporters. 

Compliance is expected to cost public water systems between $2.1 billion and $3.6 billion annually.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden provides $15 billion to replace lead service lines. However, some outside estimates say the cost of actually doing so would be significantly more than that. 

The agency’s lead water regulations were last updated under the Trump administration, which required speedier public notifications for potential lead exposure. But it stopped short of other changes that many advocates called for, and also cut down the percentage of lead service lines required to be replaced when high lead levels are detected.

Related Posts

65a406f92200003200ad4ac0

Thousands Of Demonstrators March For Palestine Across The World

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators converged opposite the White House on Saturday to call for an end to Israeli military action in Gaza, while children joined…

65a3302a2300003100806e60

Massive Gas Outage Threatens Millions Of Americans’ Energy Supplies Amid Arctic Storm

Emergency shutdown at a natural gas storage facility in Washington state threatens mass blackouts.

65a302dd2300005500806e58

Prankster Tries To Give Ron DeSantis Participation Trophy At Iowa Event

“We’re proud of you for trying,” Davram Stiefler of The Good Liars comedy duo told DeSantis.

65a3198e240000320027f385

Chicago Bulls Fans Boo As Jerry Krause's Widow Accepts Honor In His Place

The team’s former general manager died in 2017.

65a2fb7e2300005600806e55

Viral Rapper Says He’s Innocent After Kidnapping Allegations

A viral Texas rapper is claiming his innocence after being accused of kidnapping a pregnant woman and keeping her locked in his garage. Lee Carter, 52, better…

65a2c9d72200005300fb00fc

Bills-Steelers Playoff Game Postponed Amid Forecast For Dangerous Winter Weather

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A potentially dangerous winter storm forecast to hit the Buffalo region over the weekend led the NFL on Saturday to push back the…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *