EPA OIG Recommends Interim Measures for Public Notification of Lead Action Level Exceedances

On July 20, 2023, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a memorandum to EPA’s Office of Water (OW) regarding the implementation of the Tier 1 public notification provision following the determination of an action level exceedance, as required under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act passed  in 2016. While OIG acknowledges that the provision was included by OW in the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions, which has a compliance data of October 18, 2024, OIG asks OW to consider what immediate actions the Agency can take ahead of the 2024 compliance deadline to ensure consumers are promptly provided with notifications of an action level exceedance in their community.  The Office cited that from January 15, 2021 to December 31, 2022, 1,152 public water systems recorded action level exceedances. It is important to note that current regulations allow water systems up to 60 days to issue public education materials to consumers and that numerous states require or encourage a faster timeline to issue such public notice.