Environmental Groups Request Comprehensive Action on Lead

A number of groups representing children’s health and environmental concerns, has asked the President‘s Task Force on Environmental Health and Safety Risks to Children to develop a comprehensive federal strategy to address lead and protect the health of children.  The groups point out that the lead crisis is not limited to Flint, MI and that low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted.  Much of the work to implement such a strategy would fall to EPA.   Some of the specific recommendations related to lead in drinking water and the upcoming LCR revisions include:

  • EPA should do more to ensure that the public is informed of the risks of lead in drinking water.
  • EPA should improve oversight and enforcement of the LCR.
  • EPA should close sampling loopholes that result in underreporting of water lead levels.
  • EPA should require utilities to replace the entire length of lead service lines (LSLs) under their control and ban partial LSL replacements.
  • EPA should require proactive replacement of all lead service lines.
  • EPA should establish 5 ppb as the lead action level for all drinking water.

In addition to the drinking water related recommendations, the groups also suggest reducing lead emissions to the air; strengthening the standard for lead in soil; controlling lead exposure during manufacture, processing, use and disposal through the newly revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); and addressing other exposures such as in homes, household products, and personal care products.   A copy of the letter to EPA is attached to this article.