The US EPA announced on February 25, that new drinking water regulations aimed at eliminating lead in water supplies have been returned to the US EPA’s staffers for revision. The announcement marks the eighth time that the EPA’s self-imposed deadline for revising the water quality standards has been delayed. Attempts to revise the standard began during the Obama administration, but it faced the major obstacle of how to require utilities to replace their lead pipes without imposing a massive unfunded mandate on these utilities. The EPA estimates that the cost to replace the public water supply pipes could cost between $4,700 – $12,300 per pipe, and estimates that there are between 6 and 10 million lead pipes still in use across the county. Most utilities are owned by municipalities, and the EPA is concerned with the burden that the rule rewrite could place upon these entities.
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