Lead & Copper Rule Delayed, More Public Input Requested

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced a delay in the effective date of the Revised Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to provide time to seek further public input. To accomplish this goal, the USEPA has posted two notices regarding the revised LCR and announced plans to hold virtual listening sessions in April and May.

The first action announces an extension of the effective date for the revised LCR to June 17, 2021. The purpose of this additional time is to enable USEPA to take public comment on a second action that would provide a longer extension of the effective date. The extension will also allow the USEPA to undertake its review of the LCR with the public health purposes of the Safe Drinking Water Act, President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, the President’s Chief of Staff’s Regulatory Freeze Pending Review Memorandum, and in consultation with affected stakeholders.

The second action proposes to delay the effective date until December 16, 2021 and the revised LCR’s compliance deadline to September 16, 2024. The USEPA says this action would ensure that drinking water systems and primacy States continue to have the full three years provided by the Safe Drinking Water Act to take actions needed to assure regulatory compliance.

The USEPA is seeking comment until April 12, 2021. To submit comments, click here.  

In addition, virtual public listening sessions will be held on April 28, 2021, and May 5, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., central time. During these events, registered members of the public will be provided the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns about the impact of lead in their community as it relates to the LCR with USEPA senior officials and managers. Those interested in speaking can sign up for a three minute speaking slot on the USEPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/safewater.

Starting in June of 2021, USEPA will also host virtual roundtables with other important stakeholder groups, including drinking water utilities, intergovernmental associations, environmental organizations, environmental justice organizations, public health organizations, and consumer associations. These stakeholder roundtables will allow representatives of national organizations to discuss LCR-related topics and provide their national perspective to the USEPA. Finally, USEPA also intends to host a national coregulator meeting with primacy agencies like States, Tribes, and territories in July 2021 to discuss the feedback received from communities and stakeholders.

The USEPA requests that communities or organizations that would like to be considered for a community-focused or stakeholder roundtable submit a nomination letter to the Agency no later than April 23, 2021. For details on what should be included in the nomination letters, meeting materials, and for additional event details visit: www.epa.gov/safewater.