Lead Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) and Next Steps. What it means for Public Water Systems.
By Robert Hollander, P.E.
On January 16, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Final Lead Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) in the Federal Register (86 FR 4198), just days before Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States. The change of Administration fostered a hold on rules enacted during the Trump Administration (Executive Order 13390, January 20, 2021), and initiated a review of the LCRR. While under review EPA issued a notification in the Federal Register, on June 16, 2021, delaying the effective and compliance dates of the LCRR (86 FR 31939). On completion of the review, EPA published a notification, on December 17, 2021 (86 FR 71574), indicating that it is considering opportunities for improvements to the rule to make if more protective of public health to be titled the Lead Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI).
Requirements for public water systems from EPA’s recent actions regarding lead in drinking water
As outlined in the December 17, 2021 notification, EPA is retaining the effective and compliance dates from the original LCRR of December 16, 2021 and October 16, 2024, respectively. This will require public water systems to complete the following actions:
- Service line material inventories;
- Lead service line replacement plans; and
- Revise tap sampling plans.
EPA may delay the date the plans must be submitted, to allow for changes in the LCRI.
Other actions being considered by EPA include:
- Revising lead trigger and action levels;
- Water testing in schools and child-care facilities;
- Flexibility with corrosion control treatment;
- Prioritize lead service line replacements to address underrepresented areas, where lead service lines may be more prevalent and where homeowners or landlords cannot afford or refuse to replace lead service lines;
- Provide guidance on and assistance to obtain funding for service line inventories and lead service line replacements; and
- Expand public education, public information, and public notification on lead in drinking water.
EPA hopes to publish the final LCRI Rule before the compliance date of October 16, 2024.
NJBSoft is developing updates to SAMSWater to assist client’s compliance with the short-term requirements of the LCRR, and will incorporate changes, as necessary, to assist with the LCRI when it is finalized.
Stay tuned for updates on the Lead Copper Rule Revisions and Improvements rules.