House Passes Lead in Hydrants Relief Measure

On December 2nd, the House passed HR 3588, the Community Fire Safety Act.  The bill amends the 2011 Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (§1417(a)(4)(B)) to include fire hydrants under the list of “lead free” exemptions.  That exemption list also covers “toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.”

If taken up and passed by the Senate, and signed by the President in the next few weeks, this measure would avoid a January 1, 2014 ban on the installation of hydrants with a lead content of greater than 0.25%.  The House bill also requires that EPA consult with the National Drinking Water Advisory Council on “potential changes to the regulations pertaining to lead…” and asks the Council to also consider, as part of its charge, sources of lead throughout drinking water distribution systems – including components used in repairs.