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EPA Proposes Deadline For Changing Lead Water Lines | WDIY Local News

Nithin PA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made a proposal this week that aligns with a goal set by President Joe Biden to eliminate the threat of lead contamination in water. A ten-year deadline was suggested for the replacement of lead water service lines for most water utilities.

A press release from PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center elaborated on the scale of the concern. More than 9 million pipes service lines are still contaminating drinking water in homes, child care facilities, and other buildings with lead.

Data shows that service lines aren’t the only source of contamination. Pipes through buildings, valves, solder joints, and event components in drinking fountains can cause lead pollution.

PennEnvironment’s David Masur stated that this policy would target the “root of the problem.” Lead pipes are currently the largest source of lead contamination for many Americans.

Among other groups, PennEnvironment has been pushing for an end to lead contamination since the water crisis in Flint, Michigan in 2014. The organization published reports on lead in Pennsylvania schools’ drinking water.

States like Michigan have laws requiring schools to install filters in their water fountains or bottle filling stations. Pennsylvania does not have this requirement, and the EPA’s proposal wouldn’t enforce it nationally.

PennEnvironment is now urging the agency to go further in their efforts by implementing policies that would more completely protect school children from lead in school drinking water.

They encouraged the EPA to “do more homework” before releasing any official rule.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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