In a June 16, 2021, Federal Register notice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is delaying the compliance deadline for the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR). The January 16, 2024 compliance date is being moved to October 16, 2024. The notice notes the delay will allow sufficient time for EPA to complete its review and conduct important consultations with affected parties. The delay in the compliance date of the LCRR also ensures that a delay in rule’s effective date will not reduce the amount of time provided for drinking water systems and primacy states to take actions needed to assure compliance with the LCRR. The overall effective date for the LCRR has been delayed several times and is now December 16, 2021.
Earlier, in a May 26, 2021 Press Release, EPA announced that public input on the LCRR was being sought at 10 community virtual Roundtables. Regarding the Roundtables, Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox, is quoted as saying, “Under the Biden-Harris Administration, EPA is committed to ensuring that the revised Lead and Copper Rule protects communities from lead—especially lower income people, communities of color, and other vulnerable populations. These Roundtable discussions will highlight the challenge of lead in drinking water facing hundreds of communities, from big cities to small towns.” The community Roundtables included local public water utilities, community organizations, environmental groups, and public officials and were live-streamed. Additional information on the Roundtables and recordings of all previous LCRR public engagements is available HERE. EPA recently announced additional July, 2021 Roundtables. The July 7th and 8th Roundtables, in Memphis, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois, respectively can also be viewed at the above link. Additionally, the July 14, 2021 Roundtable in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will also be livestreamed at the same link. In a June 23, 2021, Federal Register notice, EPA also extended the LCRR comment period to July 30, 2021 to allow the public to submit additional comments after participating in or viewing the community, tribal, and stakeholder Roundtables. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0255 and submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov/.
As EPA is continuing its review and public engagement on the LCRR, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) will host a webinar titled LCRR States’ Perspectives on Friday, July 16, 2021 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT. The webinar will examine the regulatory uncertainty associated with this rule’s development and its implementation timeline. After an overview of LCRR implementation challenges, the webinar will also include a state panel discussion on how these issues might play out in the future. To register for this webinar, go HERE.