Earthjustice Commends Delaying of Flawed Lead and Copper Rule

EPA seeking input from lead-poisoned communities is an encouraging step


Erin Fitzgerald, Earthjustice

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday it is delaying the effective date of the Revised Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), noting that the agency seeks further input from impacted communities. The LCR regulates the control and monitoring of lead in drinking water. Under the previous administration, EPA released flawed revisions to the LCR that would dramatically decrease the rate at which lead pipes must be replaced. The revisions also allow small public water systems previously required to replace lead service lines to avoid replacing them altogether, even if those systems continually exceed the lead action level.

In January, Earthjustice, on behalf of a coalition of civil rights and environmental groups, sued EPA over the LCR revisions. Groups also called on the Biden administration to nix the Trump administration’s changes to the LCR, 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 poisoning from drinking water.

The following statement is from Earthjustice attorney Suzanne Novak: 

“We commend EPA for delaying a rule that clearly fails to protect not just children’s health, but also the drinking water of millions of people. This is an encouraging first step to right the wrongs of the past. We are confident that after listening to the most affected communities, and the science, EPA will implement a rule that will actually protect disserved people. Everyone can agree it is time the country ends lead poisoning once and for all.”

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 revised rule.

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