EPA issues utility guidance for LCRR compliance

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a “Guidance for Developing and Maintaining a Service Line Inventory” to help water utilities as they work to comply with recent Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR). The document includes recommendations for public water systems to assist in identifying and tracking lead service lines (LSL). Under LCRR, water utilities are required to develop an LSL inventory by October 16, 2024. According to EPA, the guidance:

  • Provides best practices for inventory development and risk communications.
  • Contains case studies on developing, reviewing, and communicating about inventories.
  • Includes a template for water systems, states, and Tribes to use or adapt to create their own inventory.
  • Highlights the importance of prioritizing inventory development in disadvantaged communities and where children live and play.

This guidance will also facilitate investment of $15 billion in funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that is dedicated to lead service line replacement. BIL funding can be used for lead service line replacement projects and associated activities directly connected to the identification, planning, design, and replacement of lead service lines, including development of service line inventories themselves.

“There is no safe level of lead exposure, and it is essential that we accelerate progress on locating lead pipes that deliver drinking water where people live, work, and play,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Under President Biden’s leadership, EPA is committed to working with states, Tribes, and water utilities to get the lead out of our drinking water.”

EPA said it will continue to strengthen actions to protect communities from lead in drinking water. This guidance alongside regulatory improvements, infrastructure investments and other actions, are significant steps toward the goal of replacing 100 percent of lead service lines.

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