EPA Issues Guidance to Help Communities Locate Lead Pipes

Aug. 10, 2022
New guidance advances Biden-Harris Administration Lead Pipe & Paint Action Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is releasing guidance that will help communities and water utilities identify lead pipes that connect drinking water service to homes and other buildings.

According to the EPA, the guidance will help implement the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, ultimately helping water utilities "comply with the requirements of the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions that went into effect in December 2021 and make rapid progress on removing harmful lead from America’s drinking water."  

“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 in the news release. “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. We are using every tool available, including providing this important guidance, strengthening the Lead and Copper Rule, and investing $15 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to remove lead pipes.”

EPA’s new Guidance for Developing and Maintaining a Service Line Inventory:

  • 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; And
  • Highlights the importance of prioritizing inventory development in disadvantaged communities and where children live and play.

According to EPA, its new guidance will "assist water systems in developing and maintaining service line inventories, support notifications to consumers served by lead pipes, and provide states with needed information for oversight and reporting to EPA."

This guidance includes the investment of $15 billion in funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for lead service line replacement, which includes the identification, planning, design, and replacement of lead service lines, and the development of service line inventories themselves.

About the Author

Cristina Tuser

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