EPA Releases Final Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR)

On Tuesday, 12/22, EPA released the final Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR). This was a significant effort by the Agency over the past decade to revise the 1991 Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) as several significant problems and implementation issues had become apparent since the 1991 LCR was finalized.

These revisions include testing drinking water at elementary schools and child care facilities, getting the lead out of our nation’s drinking water, and empowering communities through information. Additional LCRR changes include:

  • Using science-based testing to better locate elevated levels of lead in drinking water.
  • Establishing a trigger level to jumpstart mitigation earlier and in more communities.
  • Driving more and complete lead service line replacements.
  • For the first time, requiring testing in elementary schools and child care facilities.
  • Requiring water systems to identify and make public the locations of lead service lines.

The pre-publication version of the final LCRR is 409 pages and for those that just want the highlights, EPA’s side-by-side comparison of the current Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) with the final LCRR is a helpful tool. State primacy agencies, water systems, and the communities that they serve face major challenges in implementing the LCRR and, ultimately, continuing to optimize corrosion control treatment while replacing all of the lead service lines in the U.S. Implementing this regulation is going to require a significant collaborative effort between ASDWA’s members, EPA, and the water systems and their customers. Getting the lead out by removing lead service lines is a major infrastructure effort that is going to take significant commitments by all involved.