EPA Administrator Pruitt visits Ohio, discusses water quality, lead

April 20, 2018
EPA staff tour the Cincinnati Office of Research and Development (ORD) lab to discuss lead service line replacement.
Administrator Pruitt and members of GWCC following a visit to two lead service replacement construction sites. Photos Courtesy EPA

CINCINNATI, OHIO, APRIL 19, 2018 -- This week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited Cincinnati, Ohio, to meet with local water utilities and tour two local lead service line replacement construction sites as well as EPA's Cincinnati Office of Research and Development (ORD) lab.

"EPA is working closely with state and local partners to eradicate lead in drinking water," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This visit highlights Cincinnati's proactive approach to upgrading the city's infrastructure and removing lead service lines. This is a great example of a local community taking the initiative to protect their residents' health and the environment."

Administrator Pruitt meets with EPA staff and tours the Cincinnati ORD lab.

During a roundtable discussion with Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW), Administrator Pruitt discussed EPA's continued cooperation with GCWW, with a focus on the shared goal of eradicating lead in drinking water and providing the highest water quality. GCWW supplies more than 48 billion gallons of water a year through 3,000 miles of water mains to about 235,000 residential and commercial accounts. The city's goal is to remove all lead services lines within the next 15 years and continue to work to get rid of lead in Cincinnati area schools.

Following the discussion, Administrator Pruitt and leaders from GCWW visited two different lead service line replacement construction sites. The Administrator saw firsthand the work GCWW is planning to do with their lead removal program and received a briefing on the cost-sharing program for customers who work with GCWW contractors to perform the private lead service line replacement.

"We appreciated the visit today from Administrator Pruitt. The visit gave us a chance to explain our enhanced lead program that includes education, outreach and removal of lead service lines. Our program wasn't mandated by regulations, but implemented because it is the right thing to do for our community, and we believe it can serve as a model across the country," said Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Cathy Bailey.

Finally, Administrator Pruitt visited EPA's Cincinnati ORD lab. This stop included an update on the research being conducted on drinking water pipe corrosion and its impact on water quality as well as a tour of the drinking water pilot plant, which has been focusing on lead and PFAS removal in drinking and ground water treatment.