News Releases from Region 03

06/25/2021

PHILADELPHIA (June 25, 2021) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosted a roundtable with organizers representing Washington, D.C., to highlight the experience of this community with lead in drinking water. This roundtable discussion, along with nine others being held across the country, is vital to informing EPA’s review of the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) revisions to ensure that the rule is grounded in the experience of communities that are most at-risk of exposure to lead in drinking water.

“While the number of the District’s children testing high for lead-in-blood levels has been dramatically reduced over the past decade, the Bowser Administration’s goal is to get to zero and I believe we have a path to get there,” said Tommy Wells, Secretary of D.C.’s Department of Energy and Environment.

“D.C. Water has taken many important steps—from locating lead service lines and making their locations publicly available to removing lead pipes from D.C. communities,” said Acting EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Diana Esher. “Addressing lead in drinking water requires partnerships and I want to thank the community groups that organized this roundtable for their leadership.”

Participants included local officials, D.C. Water, the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment, D.C. Environmental Network, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Earthjustice.

Additional information on the virtual roundtable, including how to watch a recording, is available at: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/lead-and-copper-rule-revisions-virtual-engagements.

Background

Lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement. EPA is committed to following the best science to address lead in the nation’s drinking water and will take the appropriate time to review the LCR Revisions and make sure communities that have been impacted the most are protected. In March of this year, EPA announced an extension of the effective date of the Revised Lead and Copper Rule so that the agency could seek further public input on the rule. The agency hosted virtual public listening sessions on April 28, 2021, and May 5, 2021. On May 26, 2021, EPA announced the 10 communities that were selected for virtual roundtable discussions on EPA’s LCR Revisions. Members of the public may also submit comments via the docket at: http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0255 until July 30, 2021.

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