EPA to Bolster Lead-Testing Rules for Drinking Water

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

EPA to Bolster Lead-Testing Rules for Drinking Water


Byline: Joyce Howard Price, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced a plan designed to strengthen and update regulations for testing and decreasing lead in drinking water.

"We need to free people from worrying about lead in their drinking water," said Ben Grumbles, EPA assistant administrator for water. "This plan will increase the accuracy and consistency of monitoring and reporting, and it ensures that where there is a problem, people will be notified, and the problem will be dealt with quickly and properly."

By early next year, the EPA plans to propose regulatory changes to the Lead and Copper Rule, issued in 1991 to reduce lead in drinking water. The action, which follows extensive analysis of how current regulations have been implemented, will "tighten monitoring, treatment, lead service line management and customer awareness," the federal agency said.

In addition, the EPA said it will modernize and expand 1994 guidelines on testing for lead in the drinking water of schools and child care facilities. The plan will emphasize partnerships with other federal agencies, utilities and schools to protect children from lead in tap water.

Announcement of the Drinking Water Lead Reduction Plan comes one year after the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) was the subject of public scrutiny and criticism as it battled high levels of lead in the District of Columbia's drinking water. WASA began a multimillion-dollar program to replace lead-lined pipes throughout the nation's capital. …

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