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June 17, 2021

Impacted Communities’ Input is Critical to Address Nation’s Lead Problem

Earthjustice commends EPA for actions to strengthen Lead and Copper Rule

Contacts

Erin Fitzgerald, efitzgerald@earthjustice.org

Washington, D.C.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule in the Federal Register announcing that they were delaying the effective and compliance dates of the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) issued by the EPA during the Trump administration. The delay will allow for a more thorough review of the LCRR and increased input from various stakeholders, including overburdened and underserved communities who have been disproportionately impacted by lead exposure and environmental organizations. Significant areas of concern for communities include exposure to lead via drinking water provided through lead service lines and EPA’s failure to tie the requirement for remedial action to a health-based standard. The LCRR failed to adequately address these concerns. Now, the EPA has a chance to protect all people exposed to lead from their taps, once and for all. 

In January, Earthjustice, on behalf of a coalition of civil rights and environmental groups, sued EPA over the LCRR. Groups also called on the Biden administration to nix the Trump administration’s Revisions, hold public hearings in affected communities, and put out a rule that expedites the removal of lead service lines across the country and takes other meaningful steps to prevent lead exposure from drinking water. Earthjustice is representing the NAACP, United Parents Against Lead, Newburgh Clean Water Project, and the Sierra Club, who are the coalition of groups challenging the LCRR.

The following is a statement by the coalition of groups represented by Earthjustice who are challenging the rule:

“We are confident that after listening to our communities, scientists, and environmental experts, EPA will implement a stronger rule that will actually protect children’s health and public drinking water for millions of people. This move by the EPA is an encouraging first step to right the wrongs of the past and ensure that tap water is not a major source of lead exposure in the United States.”

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.