Read AWWA’s statement on final Lead and Copper Rule revisions

lead pipe

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December announced the final Lead and Copper Rule. American Water Works Association President Melissa Elliott issued the following statement.

“The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is committed to working toward a day when the potential for lead in drinking water is removed from every household and every community. Our 50,000 members have long-awaited the revised Lead and Copper Rule, and AWWA is actively reviewing the rule in light of our Feb. 5, 2020 comments.

As the final rule is announced, AWWA renews its commitment to the removal of all lead service lines in their entirety. The first step in accomplishing that task is the development of lead inventories in every community, and we enthusiastically support the inclusion of that requirement in the final rule. EPA reports that lead action level exceedances today among large systems are 90-percent lower than they were when the rule was first introduced in 1991. Still, the surest way to protect against lead in water is to remove the sources of lead. Water utilities will continue to be leaders in this monumental task, though removing lead service lines will require time and collaboration with property owners, manufacturers, state regulators, federal agencies, financing authorities, plumbers, code officials, local government and many others.

We expect the new rule to emphasize the importance of transparent and timely communications from water utilities to water consumers. Communication is essential in strengthening public trust between a utility and its customers. In fact, AWWA research shows that consumers who recall receiving communication from their utilities perceive their water as safer. Utilities increasingly see communications as integral to their missions, and they know their customers deserve clear and consistent outreach about lead risks, lead inventories, lead service line replacement and other lead-related issues.”

AWWA said it looks forward to helping its members understand the content and spirit of the revised rule and to achieve its public health goals.

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