NDWAC Work Group on the LCR Holds Initial Meeting

This week, a special work group of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) met to discuss possible changes in the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).  EPA has been working for some time on long term revisions to the LCR with an internal work group that included five states (IN, MA, MO, NC, WA).  However, EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water has determined that additional stakeholder input on some of the more complex issues that are being considered for the long term revisions would be valuable, so the NDWAC was asked to form this special work group.  The work group includes members from two states (June Swallow of Rhode Island and Derrick Dennis of Washington) as well as representatives from water systems, environmental groups, local health agencies, and consumer advocates.
The work group is charged with considering five principal topics listed below but may decide to make recommendations on other issues.  Recommendations from the work group will be considered by the full NDWAC and final recommendations forwarded to EPA to be used in the development of the proposed long term revisions to the LCR.  This proposal is expected in 2015.  Topics being considered by the work group include:

  •         Sample site selection criteria for lead and copper
  •         Lead sampling protocols
  •         Public education for copper
  •         Measures to ensure optimal corrosion control treatment
  •         Lead service line replacement

This week, the group heard some introductory presentations on the LCR including the state perspective on implementation (Darrell Osterhoudt of ASDWA) and also looked in more detail at optimal corrosion control treatment, again with a state speaker (Stacy Jones of Indiana).  Information in these two state presentations was supported by state participation in a recent state LCR survey.  For their first discussion topic, the group heard about the complexity of corrosion control; the difficulty in determining the appropriate treatment for each water system; and the challenge of assigning appropriate water quality parameters to assure that treatment is effective.  This better understanding of the challenges associated with this topic will hopefully inform the development of both effective and efficient ways to address this issue in the rule revisions.
The work group will hold a number of meetings over the next year as they discuss additional topics and develop recommendations. The next two meetings have already been scheduled for May 29 & 30 and September 18 & 19.  All the meetings are open to the public and include a time for public comment.  ASDWA will provide additional information to states as more details are released.  If you want additional information about the NDWAC and its activities, please see the NDWAC website.