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Water: Lead & Copper Rule

June 2006 Status of Activities under the March 2005 Drinking Water Lead Reduction Plan


EPA held four expert workshops during 2004.  As part of the plan, the Agency committed to hold one additional expert workshop in mid-2005.

# Workshop Purpose of Workshop Status
1 Workshop on lead content of plumbing fittings and fixtures To help identify actions that can be taken to reduce the amount of lead that comes into contact with drinking water. A workshop was held in DC on July 26-27, 2005.  A summary is posted on the EPA website. Four workshops on elements of the rule had been held prior to this final workshop. Summaries of these workshops are also available on the EPA website.

The Agency committed to update and expand two guidance documents that were initially developed during the 1990's.  The Agency's goal was to complete revisions to the guidance documents by the end of 2005 or early 2006.

# Guidance Document Purpose of Guidance Status
1 Update 1994 guidance on Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Non-Residential Buildings The revised document will focus on schools and child care facilities and will incorporate needs identified by stakeholders during a December 2004 national meeting. A revised guidance was released in January 2006.  The guidance is posted on a newly developed website focused on schools - www. epa.gov/safewater/schools.  The January 2006 release also included the 3T's Toolkit (Training, Testing, Telling) to help schools develop and carry out voluntary programs to test for lead in school drinking water.  The Agency is working to develop a video that will train schools on how to conduct monitoring.
2 Update 1999 guidance on Simultaneous Compliance The document, which is currently being revised to support the Stage 2 Disinfection Byproducts Rule, will be enhanced to discuss in greater depth potential effects of treatment changes on maintaining corrosion control in a distribution system. The Stage 2 rule was published on January 4, 2006.   The draft guidance will be released for comment in mid-2006. 

As part of the plan, the Agency committed to seek nine targeted revisions to the regulation.  The Agency committed to initiate the process to develop a proposal via a regulatory workgroup soon after release of the plan, with a goal of releasing a proposal in late 2005 or early 2006.

EPA published a proposal to revise the regulations in July 2006. For the purposes of the proposal, the nine revisions have been collapsed into seven changes (as shown below A-G).  The Agency is also including proposed changes to public education requirements to reflect recommendations made to EPA by the National Drinking Water Advisory Council.

A Rule Changes #1 & #2: Clarify the minimum number of samples and sampling locations (sites).
B Rule Changes #3 and #4: Modify definitions for a monitoring period, compliance period, and modify language to make it clear that all samples must be taken within the same calendar year.
C Rule Change #5: Modify language to reconsider allowing systems above the action level to reduce tap monitoring based solely on the results of their water quality parameter monitoring.
D Rule Change #6: Modify language to require a PWS to notify the state of treatment changes prior to a treatment change rather than 60 days after a change.
E Rule Change #7: Require that systems notify occupants of facilities that are tested as part of the utility's monitoring program of the results of monitoring.
F Rule Change #8: Revise the content of the public education message to be provided to consumers, how the materials are delivered to consumers, and the timeframe in which materials must be delivered. Permit states to allow utilities to modify the flushing directions in public education language to address local circumstances (e.g., 10 minute flushing recommendation for DC).
G Rule Change #9: Revise language to require that any line previously deemed to be replaced through testing be reevaluated in the event that the system exceeds the action level.

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