ASDWA Provides Comments on Proposed LCRI to National Drinking Water Advisory Council

On January 31, 2024, ASDWA provided comments to the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) on the proposed LCRI–a summary is included below.

ASDWA’s members most pressing concern with the proposed LCRI is the increased state workload, compounded by the upcoming PFAS regulation and ongoing IIJA implementation. These important new tasks will be in addition to our current everyday activities, such as hands-on technical assistance, ensuring compliance with over 90 standards, system inspections, engineering reviews, operator certification, etc. The proposed rule requires 38 new reviews by states, 8 new templates to be developed, and 5 new state-to-system consultations across various LCRI components. Our estimate of the increased burden is over 5 million additional hours each year for state implementation of LCRI. States are encouraged that EPA incorporated many of ASDWA’s recommendations into the proposed LCRI, but EPA must prioritize feasible implementation. The final rule should balance health, feasibility and cost. It should:

  • Retain the 10-ppb action level.
  • Stagger the compliance deadline based on system size, similar to the approach taken for Stage 2 DBPR.
  • Provide flexibility in corrosion control treatment (CCT) implementation, allowing states discretion in determining if pipe-loop studies are needed and allowing systems to make incremental changes once CCT is installed, as opposed to waiting years for pipe-loop studies for systems with LSLs.
  • Maintain the existing 30-day customer notice requirement for sample results.
  • Ensures existing school and childcare testing programs that meet the proposed sampling criteria and implemented after 2014 will be honored, rather than limiting programs implemented after 2021.
  • Prioritize development and implementation of a data system that will be able to handle all the new regulatory tracking requirements in this rule and others.

Finally, ASDWA’s Members urge EPA to recognize and to assist in communicating with the public as implementation moves forward and the public begins to receive increased communication about lead, including:

  • Notifications to all property owners with lead, galvanized requiring replacement, and unknown service line materials.
  • LSL replacement disturbances on private property and in the community.
  • Property owners that refuse to participate in LSLR.
  • Filter distribution.
  • The additional ALEs expected due to the revised compliance sampling plans and sampling both the first and fifth liters.

This is only a summary of our issues – ASDWA also recommends that the NDWAC thoroughly review ASDWA’s detailed comments which will be submitted to the LCRI Docket next week.