Revised Lead and Copper Rule Delayed Again

The wait on a revised Lead and Copper rule is going to last a little longer.

Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule were expected early next year. However, the draft revision is now expected in August 2019, which is a delay of six months from the timetable that was announced last fall.

The date of the final publication has not changed; it is scheduled for February 2020.

This marks the third time the draft’s publication has been delayed by the Trump administration. The revisions were also scheduled to be released in the summer of 2017, January 2018, and August 2018.

The National Ground Water Association serves on the National Drinking Water Advisory Council, which has weighed in on possible revisions throughout their development.

Because the revisions are unknown, the impacts to groundwater industry professionals are unclear. However, if stricter limits on lead and copper content are contained in the revisions, compliance costs could result in increased costs for manufacturers who may need to modify their products.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that does not alter the taste, odor, or color of water. The presence of lead in groundwater tends to be small and almost undetectable. A greater concern is the presence of lead in galvanized steel pipes, certain brass used in plumbing fixtures or well components, and certain solder used to connect pipes and joints.

Although the lead content allowed in these plumbing and well components has been greatly reduced—most recently in 2014—it can still be a health risk for well systems that pre-date federally mandated lead content reductions.

NGWA has an information brief of lead, providing information on sources and corrosion. It also has information on lead for homeowners with well systems on its website,​

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