EPA pro­poses re­write of rules on lead con­tam­i­na­tion in wa­ter

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion on Thurs­day pro­posed a re­write of rules for deal­ing with lead pipes con­tam­i­nat­ing drink­ing wa­ter, but crit­ics say the changes ap­pear to give wa­ter sys­tems decades more time to re­place pipes leach­ing dan­ger­ous amounts of toxic lead.

Con­trary to reg­u­la­tory roll­backs in many other en­vi­ron­men­tal ar­eas, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has called deal­ing with lead con­tam­i­na­tion in drink­ing wa­ter a pri­or­ity. Com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies in Flint, Michi­gan, Ne­wark, New Jer­sey, and else­where have had to grap­ple with high lev­els of lead in tap wa­ter and with reg­u­la­tory fail­ures deal­ing with the health threat.

At a news con­fer­ence in Green Bay, Wis­con­sin, En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency Ad­min­is­tra­tor An­drew Wheeler an­nounced changes that in­clude re­quir­ing wa­ter sys­tems to test lead lev­els in wa­ter at schools and child care fa­cil­i­ties. Other changes would re­quire of­fi­cials to iden­tify the ar­eas with the worst con­tam­i­na­tion and toughen pro­ce­dures for sam­pling tap wa­ter.

But Wheeler dis­ap­pointed con­ser­va­tion groups by de­clin­ing to lower the level of lead con­tam­i­na­tion in drink­ing wa­ter sys­tems that trig­gers manda­tory re­me­di­a­tion.

And an­other change would lower the amount of lead pipe that wa­ter sys­tems have to re­place each year once the thresh­old is hit, cut­ting it from 7% to 3%.

That, ac­cord­ing to Eric Ol­son at the Nat­u­ral Re­sources De­fense Coun­cil con­ser­va­tion group, would give wa­ter util­i­ties about 20 more years to fully re­place all the lead pipes in a con­tam­i­nated sys­tem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.