Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Drinking Water Lead Control Act Moves in Subcommittee

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Drinking Water Lead Control Act Moves in Subcommittee

Article excerpt

Despite expressions of significant concern about the provisions of H.R. 2840, a measure which woudl substantially tighten current EPA regulations controling lead in drinking water, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment (Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Chrmn.) unanimously approved the portions fo the measure addressing lead contamination in public drinking water supplies.

The subcommittee also unanimously approved an amendment proposed by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) which:

[section] authorizes sampling for testing residential tap water (this amendment does not change the requirement for implementation of corrosion control if 1% of the sample exceeds the 10 ppb level, it merely increases the number of homes that can be sampled);

[section] extends the deadline for replacement of lead services lines by one year if, after implementation of corrosion control, lead concentrations do not exceed 15 parts per billion (ppb) in more than 10 percent of the samples. Water suppliers would have an additional year to adjust their corrosion control program to meet the 10 ppb level;

[section] treats service lines meeting a 5 ppb level (from a sample taken from the line) as non-contributors to lead contamination;

[section] eliminates the requirement to install Best Available Technology (BAT) for many contaminants regardless of technological and economical feasibility;

[section] extends the deadline for implementation of corrosion control to one year after state review and approval of local corrosion control strategy;

[section] requires priority replacement of lead service lines believed to be causing the most significant lead contamination problems;

[section] permits averaging of two samples, collected within 30 days of each other, where the first sample exceeded 10 ppb;

[section] authorizes $50 million per year for five years of grant to states and public water suppliers based on the "severity of the lead in drinking water supplied and other factors. …

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