EPA Takes First Steps Toward Implementing Lead Law – ASA Weighs In

Are you preparing to go lead-free? Whether you are a distributor or manufacturer, the Clean Water Act and the changes made to it by the Safe Drinking Water Act will play a vital role in your business. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires only lead-free pipe, solder or flux may be used in the installation or repair of a public water system, or any plumbing in a residential or non-residential facility providing water for human consumption.

“Lead-free” under the SDWA means solders and flux may not contain more than 0.2% lead. Pipe, pipe fittings and well pumps may not contain more than 8% lead. Beginning in January 2014, changes to the SDWA will further reduce the maximum allowable lead content of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures to 0.25%.

On August 16, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a stakeholder forum regarding this important issue. As a follow-up to its stakeholder forum, the EPA sought input from interested parties. ASA weighed in by making clear the need for wholesale distributors to have additional time to clear their shelves of the potentially millions of dollars in product they hold.

Our letter stated, “By allowing distributors, many of whom are small, independent and multi-generational, the opportunity to effectively clear their shelves, they can continue meeting the needs of their customers. ASA supports a phased approach that would allow for dual inventories to remain on our members’ shelves while they work with their channel partners to meet the new demands of this law.”

In the coming months, while the EPA digests the feedback it receives from multiple stakeholders, it is expected to develop a draft rule. At this time, stakeholders will once again be welcome and encouraged to offer their views on how this law will impact their businesses. Those interested in getting involved should contactDan Hilton, ASA Director of Government Affairs at 703/ 328-5234 or atdhilton@asa.net.

Click on the “Regulatory Issues” button in the Advocacy section ofwww.asa.netfor more information.