(Daily360.com) – Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new rules relating to lead and copper pipeline standards. The Biden administration claims the new rules are aimed at lowering what they call unsafe levels of pollution for the drinking water of vulnerable people. The rule proposition would serve to speed up the Biden plan of replacing 100% of all lead pipes in the nation.
The metric the EPA is using is called ‘lead activation level’ and they say it measures micrograms in tap water. They have said the appropriate level should be 10 micrograms per liter or lower but in some areas it is often registering 15 micrograms per liter.
They say the new rules would also improve communication between citizens and their water systems workers. People would get the risks of lead through tap water exposure explained to them so they could try to reduce their potential exposure and avoid the 15 microgram water.
Michael Regan, an EPA administrator, said lowering the micrograms from 15 to 10 or lower will lead to healthier children and healthier adults. Regan says it will also lower healthcare costs by keeping people out of hospitals with ailments born of lead water-related issues. He also said he expects this initiative to lead to “good paying jobs” within “overburdened” communities. Regan says the administration “will not rest” until all lead pipes are gone.
Lead pipes have not been permitted in new construction since the 1980’s and it’s estimated that about 9 million lead lined pipelines still operate in the United States. A recent $50 billion infrastructure bill that was passed in a bi-partisan manner included a specific $15 billion allotment for drinking water infrastructure.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman, Brenda Mallory, called removing lead pipelines a “preventable” poisoning. She said the lead pipe issue is a problem the government can solve. These measures follow a new Center for Disease Control (CDC) definition of lead poisoning. They adjusted the metric to reflect the current consensus that even a small amount of lead exposure could cause serious deleterious effects in children.
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