AWWA CEO David LaFrance was present at a Biden-Harris Administration event on Dec. 16, during which plans to advance protections from lead in drinking water and other sources were announced.
“Water professionals are committed to protecting their communities today as we work for a future where lead is no longer in contact with drinking water," LaFrance said. “Today’s announcement from U.S. EPA recognizes that the January 2021 Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) are an important step forward in lead risk reduction, and utilities are already hard at work implementing that rule in their communities. The required development of lead service line inventories will help communities understand the scope of the challenge and accelerate lead service line replacement. This is a tremendous and necessary undertaking, and many utilities are already advancing this goal and serve as excellent models for others. AWWA looks forward to helping communities find collaborative ways to overcome barriers to lead service line replacement.
“As EPA prepares its new Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI), AWWA is pleased the agency will prioritize underserved communities in lead service line removal," he continued. "Our own research demonstrates that historically underserved communities often have lower confidence in their tap water safety. Addressing lead issues in these communities can be an important step in strengthening public trust in community drinking water. Beyond EPA’s rulemaking, AWWA is pleased that the newly announced Biden-Harris Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan seeks to address lead exposure in a whole-of-government approach. Increased collaboration among federal agencies can help reduce lead risks from all potential sources.
“Tremendous progress has been made in lead risk reduction since the first Lead and Copper Rule was introduced in 1991, but more work remains," he added. "AWWA and the entire water sector is grateful to U.S. Congress for its unprecedented commitment to funding for lead service line replacement and to the Biden-Harris Administration for its leadership on this critical issue. We look forward to working closely with the Administration, states, and partners to accelerate lead service line replacement in a collaborative and efficient manner.”