Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) Announcement

Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) Announcement


>>Cathy Stepp:
Good afternoon, everybody. What a fantastic day
to be back in my beloved home
state of Wisconsin, and any day out of Chicago is always a very
good day for me, but most especially
that we get to make
a very special announcement, a very important announcement,
for clean water. And I know that’s something
that’s being worked on so diligently here in Wisconsin,
and in particular in Green Bay, and there’s been a lot
of fantastic work that’s been going on. Something that we all care
a great deal about, of course,
children’s health as well, and we’ve been doing a lot
of different celebrations of that important marker
over the last couple weeks, too. Of course, I have
this bee around me now and going to
take me off topic. But I just want to thank
everybody for joining us. I want to think the city
for the hospitality, for this beautiful backdrop. Again, we’re starting to talk
about the importance of cleaning up the water
and new regulations that this administration
has been working on for so hard. I’m very, very proud of our team
at U.S. EPA. We’ve got kind of
a homecoming going on here. We’ve got David Ross, who’s our
associate administrator for the Office of Water, a Wisconsin guy;
of course, myself; Kurt Thiede. It’s just been so much fun
to get back here and be able to have
the opportunity to share with you
all this important milestone. So, without any further delay, it is indeed
my distinguished pleasure to be able to introduce
to you my boss, Administrator Andrew Wheeler. [applause]>>Andrew Wheeler:
Thank you, Cathy. It’s great to be here
this afternoon. I’ve never been to Green Bay, but I’ve been wanting
to come here, and it’s no surprise that, with Cathy and Dave
being from Wisconsin, we ended up here today to announce this important
water announcement. I want to thank you all
for joining us. I want to give a special
thank you to Mayor Genrich for welcoming us to Green Bay. Thank you, Mayor. Today’s announcement
wouldn’t be possible without Dave Ross
and EPA’s Office of Water; they’ve been working on this two
and a half years. The water sector has known
for years that our regulations
governing lead and copper in drinking water
need to be updated and improved, yet administration
after administration failed to get this done. The Trump administration
made a commitment early on that
we would get this done, and today, thanks
to the hard work of Dave and the water office,
we are announcing our proposal for the first major overhaul
of the Lead and Copper Rule since 1991. The ’90s gave us
some great things — my Cincinnati Reds
won the World Series; your Packers won a Super Bowl — but when it comes to reducing
childhood lead exposure, we can’t get stuck in the ’90s. With this proposal,
we’re advancing the Trump administration’s
federal action plan to reduce childhood
lead exposure, and we are delivering on
the President’s commitment to ensuring that all Americans
have access to clean and safe drinking water. The month of October
is also Children’s Health Month, so today’s announcement is
part of our larger effort to highlight all of our programs
and resources available to protect the health and future
of our nation’s children. We know a lot more now
than we did in the ’90s about the impact of lead
in drinking water and especially the impact
on children. That is why our proposal takes
a proactive and holistic approach
from testing to treatment to communicating clearly
with the public about the levels and risks of lead
in drinking water. When finalized, this proposal would achieve
three important goals. First, it would require
water systems to act sooner to reduce lead levels; second,
it would improve transparency and communication
with the public; and, third, it would better
protect children and the most at-risk
communities. When I was first briefed
by my staff early on in the process,
I told them that we must ensure that the last mile
of lead service lines that are replaced
are not in communities that are most at risk. My fear was
that affluent communities would have their lines
replaced first, while low-income,
underserved communities would have to wait years. These communities
cannot afford to wait. That is why our proposal
includes a suite of new actions to identify and address
the most impacted areas, and here’s how
we would do that. First, we identify
the areas most impacted. To do this, we are proposing
that all water systems complete and maintain a lead
service line inventory and collect tap samples from
homes with lead service lines. To reduce elevated levels
of lead in certain locations, our proposal would require
water systems to fix — to find and fix the causes
of these elevated levels. Number two, we would strengthen
the treatment requirements. Our proposal
would revise requirements for corrosion control treatment based on the tap
sampling results. We are proposing a new
trigger level of 10 micrograms per liter. At this level, systems that
currently treat for corrosion would be required to re-optimize
their existing treatment. Systems that do not currently
treat for corrosion would be required to conduct
a corrosion control study so that a system is prepared
to respond quickly if it exceeds
our established action level of 15 micrograms
per liter. Number three,
replace lead service lines. EPA is proposing to require
water systems to replace the water system-owned portion
of a lead service line when a customer chooses to replace
their portion of the line. We’re also proposing to require
all systems with lead service lines to develop a plan
for replacing these lines. In addition to the corrosion
control requirements that I described earlier, when a system reaches
the trigger level it would work with their states
to initiate a goal-based lead service line
replacement program. When they exceed the action
level the replacement program would have a mandatory goal. Number four,
increase sampling reliability. We are proposing
multiple measures to improve sampling reliability, such as prohibiting
sampling instructions that call for pre-stagnation
flushing or the cleaning or removal of faucet aerators. Number five, increase
risk communication. Our proposal would require
systems to notify customers of an action level
exceedance within 24 hours. Number five — actually,
it also requires systems to make the lead service line
inventories publicly available and conduct regular outreach
to homeowners with lead surface lines. Number six, protect children
and schools. Since children face
the most significant harm from lead exposure, we are proposing
the community water systems sample drinking-water outlets
at each school and each child care facility
served by the system. The system would be required
to provide the results, as well as information
on actions the school or child care facility can take to reduce
lead in drinking water. We want to make sure that the
parents of those children know what the lead content
is in the water where they send
their children every day. These are major new steps to protect the most
vulnerable among us. By improving protocols
for identifying lead, expanding sampling, and strengthening
treatment procedures, our proposal would require
more water systems to proactively take actions to
reduce lead levels at the tap. We know these measures, especially replacing
lead service lines, require substantial
financial burden. That is why EPA
and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are encouraging states
and cities to make full use of the many
funding and financing options provided by
the federal government. This includes EPA’s Drinking
Water State Revolving Loan Fund as well as the
Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation,
or WIIN Act, program. In April, we announced
two new EPA drinking-water
grant programs established under the WIIN Act. The first,
through the new voluntary Lead Testing in Schools
and Child Care Program, EPA will award nearly
$44 million to fund drinking-water testing at
schools and child care programs. The testing results
carried out using these funds must be made
publicly available. Under the new Assistance
for Small and Disadvantaged Communities
Grant Program, this year we will award
nearly $43 million to support
underserved communities and bring public drinking-water
systems into compliance. Some of the other programs
available include HUD’s Community
Development Block Grants
and EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation,
or WIFIA, Act program. Yesterday I was in Indiana
with Governor Holcomb to announce
a new $436 million WIFIA loan to their state,
the largest WIFIA loan we’ve made so far
under the program. Indiana is bundling this loan
with their uncommitted state revolving fund balance so they can lend
nearly $900 million to finance 23 water-related projects
throughout the state. This is an innovative approach that we hope
other states will pursue. To help states identify and use
these funding mechanisms, EPA and HUD have developed
a comprehensive website that provides information
on each of the funding programs. The website will also
include templates, answers to
eligibility questions, and case studies
on how cities and states have successfully
leveraged federal resources to replace lead service lines. We know that we can’t be on
the ground in every community, but with our strong federal,
state, and travel partnerships, we know that our joint efforts
will ensure that the needs
of the most vulnerable are met and public health
is protected. Today’s announcement
is a major milestone in the agency’s
49-year history. Our proposal will ensure
that we are on the cutting edge
of public health protections and we are addressing
the problems at every level. President Trump is committed
to ensuring that all Americans, regardless of their zip code, have access to clean
drinking water, and today’s action
goes a long way towards fulfilling
that commitment. Our proposal will be open
for public comment for the next 60 days, and we encourage everybody to
please take a close look at it. Let us know what you think;
let us know what you like, what you don’t like,
what we hit, and what we didn’t.
Please let us hear from you so that we can develop
those comments into our final regulation before we go final
sometime next summer. Thank you again for your time
and for your attention, and thank you for the
opportunity to be here today. Thank you. [applause]>>Cathy Stepp:
Thank you, Administrator. It’s now my pleasure
to introduce Mr. David Ross, who’s the associate administer
for the Office of Water. Dave’s going to come up and —
I’m sorry? Oh, I’m sorry, Mayor.
Forgive my faux pas. Thank you. I’m so focused on our side
over here, so my apologies. But really, thank you so much
for the warm hospitality, and your folks have been
so terrific in helping us get everything
set up and staged just right. And again, we always feel like
we’re at home when we’re in Green Bay. So, please come up and share
a few words with the group. Thank you.
Thank you so much. [applause]>>Eric Genrich:
Well, thank you, Cathy, and thanks to the EPA
Administrator for being here. Mr. Wheeler,
really appreciate the fact that you’ve chosen
Green Bay to highlight. I wouldn’t disagree
with the choice. The work that Nancy has done
with her team and our water utility,
our commissioners, our council, who saw fit to take action
on this problem, is really worthy of recognition. This is something
that was identified by Nancy very early on
as a threat to our community and not something
that we could wait on. And so, we’ve moved urgently
to address the issue and to improve public health
of citizens in the city of Green Bay.
So, appreciate the recognition, and like I said, I truly believe
it is well deserved. I also wanted
to highlight something I mentioned
to Administrator Wheeler before the program started, which is the really
strong relationship that we have with the EPA with
regard to brownfield grants me. Matt Buchanan, who’s sort
of our brownfield specialist — when he heard that
EPA was going to be in town, he was like, “Is this more
money for brownfields?” Unfortunately not, but we’re hoping
that there’s more to come. So, I wanted to note
that productive relationship, and hoping that there is more
to come along those lines. As I said, I’m really glad that EPA is here today
on our city deck; happy to invite them
into our community. I also wanted to point out
that a few weeks back we had some folks
gathered on our city deck who are calling
for climate action, for our leaders at
the federal level within the EPA and in the administration
and our Congress to follow the science
along those lines, and to take the action
that is necessary. And so, think I’d be remiss if
not to note their presence here just a few weeks back and the leadership of young
people and their demands, which are really essential
to the livelihood, not just of residents
of Green Bay or Wisconsinites or to residents
of this country, but to human civilization
as a whole. So, I would just encourage you
to follow the science as you have in this instance
and take urgent action to keep us all safe
and strong and healthy. I also wanted
to point out the fact — it maybe doesn’t need
to be pointed out, but we are a coastal community.
Right? And it’s a working river,
right on cue. [boat honking] Yep. [laughter] One of the benefits
of being mayor, right? But we are a coastal community,
and we are on a working river. We’re on the Fox here; we’ve got the East River
on the east side of town. We’re situated at the mouth
of the bay here, and it is really essential
for us to have a partnership with the federal government. The Great Lakes Restoration
Initiative has been, I think, one of the most successful
policy initiatives. It, you know, started under
the Obama administration and has been carried forward
through the Trump administration with the support of our
congressional delegation and the delegation
around the Midwest. And so, I just would
encourage you all to continue with that support. I believe it continues
through fiscal year ’21. I would encourage movement
beyond as well. So, again, thank you so much
for being here today. Thank you for recognizing
Nancy’s great work and the work of
the Green Bay Water Utility, and enjoy your time.
Thank you. [applause]>>Cathy Stepp:
Thank you, Mayor. Next up, we’ve got Nancy Quirk, who’s the GM for the Green Bay
Water Utility. Nancy and I had a lot
of interaction opportunities back in my Wisconsin days. She was always only
a phone call away whenever I was
looking for advice or what her thoughts were on
pending legislation or rules, and, Nancy, I want to thank you
for your solid vision and counsel over the years
and all your good work. Thank you. [applause]>>Nancy Quirk: Thank you.
Good afternoon, everyone. Okay, I’m just going
to give you a quick — I didn’t have this in my speech,
but we’re a community of about 105,000 people
in the city of Green Bay, and we have about
440 miles of water main, and we get our water
from Lake Michigan, which is — our intakes are just
a little bit north of Kewaunee, off the shore. So, a lot of PCB work
has been taking place here with the DNR and stuff,
so we’re glad that we have a safe source
to get our water from. But we are honored here to have
Administrator Wheeler and all of the EPA here. We recognize his presence here
is a testament that Green Bay Water Utility
is doing proactive work in the area of
Lead and Copper Rule. As a member of
the Water Utility Council of the American Water
Works Association, we will be reviewing
the new language, as you suggested that we do, and provide comments
within 60 days per our public comment period. As we assess the changes
in the proposed rule, we want to be working with you
to identify that public health is our number-one goal, and we want to be reducing lead
and copper in our water systems. We at the Green Bay
Water Utility do take public health
very seriously. In 2012, we exceeded the action
level for lead in our system, and we quickly looked to find
what was causing the action. We contracted with scientists
and engineers to study our system
and recommend actions that would reduce
our lead levels. We also knew that our watershed,
which includes the Fox River, was already experiencing
loads of nutrients in the form of nitrates
and phosphates, causing dead zones
in the Fox River. We did not want to add to that,
but we were — we didn’t want
to negate that either. We did studies with that, but what we found out
of our research was that we had
three major actions that we needed to do
to come into compliance. One was to clean
our water system through a high-velocity
flushing system called unidirectional flushing;
number two, we needed to remove the source
of our lead in our water, which is our lead services; and then, three, we needed
to continue to conduct research to lower chloroxiphite corrosion
in our water systems. We began unidirectional
flushing in 2014 with the 440 miles
of water main that we had. It took us two years, and we also added
our transmission lines of 70 miles out
to the lake in 2018. And we came back
into compliance with the Lead
and Copper Rule in 2018, and, yes, we were only sampling
homes with lead services, so we had 100 samples
that we were doing. The one thing about
the lead service replacement that I want to highlight
is that it is a team effort. It takes a lot of people
to get this done and get it — financially
and [unintelligible]. Our Green Bay Water Utility
management team met early in 2016
and developed a plan, under in the guidance
of our commission, to have these lead services
removed by December 31st, 2020 and we are down
to about 305 services — we started at almost 1,800 —
and we are on track to do that. This plan, which included
adding a third crew to our distribution system, was approved
by our water commission. Our communication director,
Andrea, who also formulated
this whole event for us — thank you, Andrea — worked with
all of our public outreach and our education, getting
our website updated with — we do have information
of every lead service that’s owned by the utility
on our website. Our distribution crews
are the ones that maintained — they did the bulk of the work removing all these lead
services day in and day out. They also helped field-identify services by vac’ing
[phonetic sp] down and seeing
where we could find potential other lead services, and they made modifications
to our equipment to remove the lead services
more efficiently. Our metering
and cross-connection staff went to almost 3,000 homes. They knocked on doors;
they sent brochures; they said, “We need to get in and identify
your material at your meter, and we need to know
what that is.” So, our customer
service staff did that. We flushed — they flushed
every service after replacement. When we’re doing a lead
service replacement our customer service
guys are there. They take the meter off,
and they put a pump on it, and they make sure that
they get those particulates off so there’s no particulates
going into the home. We worked with
our school district to lower lead levels
in the school. We met with them in early 2016, and we gave them
the EPA’s 3T guidance, and we said,
“You guys should look at this.” And they’ve tested
every single school, and we worked with them to flush
and get those clean, and they are all under level. Our engineering staff; they identified the material
and dates in our GIS system. They worked with
the Department of Public Works to target street reconstruction and resurfacing to coincide
with lead service replacements. They administered the Safe
Drinking Water Loan Program for us to do our private
lead service replacement, and they administered
the private lead service program
with plumbers and making sure everything
was signed in and finished. Our filter plant performed
all the pilot testing we’re doing
for our research, and they also did
our lead sampling of a hundred samples
every six months. Our pumping and supply unit worked with our
distribution crews to bank better tools
for us to tunnel when we’re shooting the water
service under the pavement. Our finance department
in the utility worked with the city finance and the DNR to process
contractor payments for private lead, and we worked with
the Public Service Commission to get the needed revenue that we needed to do
our own replacements. From the city of Green Bay, the inspection unit waived
our plumbing fees for private
land service replacements — thank you, Kevin. The Department of Public Works
worked with us to prioritize lead replacements
on street projects and lower our restoration
costs — thank you, Steve. Common Council approved $300,000
to be used from the Lambeau tax refund that we were able to use for private
lead service replacement, and then the city finance
worked with us to set up special assessments
for future lead service replacements
that we’re going to be submitting to the Public
Service Commission next week. Our health department
at the Brown County runs a lead coalition meeting, and we participate
in that every month. And they look at all
the sources of lead, like paint and environment
and water, and we try to address
all of that in our communities. As far as the state
of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin DNR
made principal forgiveness loans from the Safe
Drinking Water Loan Program available to cities for private lead service replacements
in 2017 and 2018. I think the state of Wisconsin was the only state
that did that. We got $800,000
for the city of Green Bay. Our citizens who are
replacing the private lead have not had
to pay anything yet. We’ve replaced over 220, about,
lead services from them, so we have about
19 left of private services. Senator Cowles
sponsored a bill last year that enabled water utilities
to use ratepayer dollars to fund up to half the cost
of the private lead services. Our state senators
and representatives voted that into law, so now we’re able to use
utility funds to help get those lead services
out where before we couldn’t. And the Wisconsin Department
of Natural Resources also worked with us
to find the actual solution of what was going on
in our system instead
of just putting a Band-Aid and putting more phosphorus
into our rivers, so I really appreciated the
collaboration that we had there. In the federal government,
the U.S. Congress made — they reauthorized Safe
Drinking Water Loan Program at the dollars we needed. The EPA provided guidance
for the schools and daycares and this update to the Lead
and Copper Rule is very much appreciated. Again, I want to thank
Administrator Wheeler and EPA for coming to Green Bay
to recognize our efforts. I want — I have a vision
that in the near future the city will not only be known
for the Green Bay Packers, but for its awesome
drinking water. So, thank you very much. [applause]>>Cathy Stepp:
Thank you, Nancy. Now joining us is David Ross,
who is the — you’ve heard this now
the fourth time from me — the associate administrator
for the Office of Water. His team has been working so
hard for the last several years, ever since the administration
came in and Dave joined the team, to really make some meaningful
and very important reforms and updates to protect public
health and the environment. Please welcome David Ross.>>David Ross:
Thanks, Cathy. So, when Administrator Wheeler
first walked into EPA as our Senate-confirmed deputy, and throughout his entire time
as our acting administrator and now as our
Senate-confirmed administrator, he has made protecting children
and reducing exposure to lead in children
one of his highest priorities and one of the agency’s
highest priorities. A centerpiece of that
is updating the Lead and Copper Rule. Where prior efforts
have stalled or failed, the Administrator has given us
leadership on the willpower to not accept failure.
We are not going to stall out. Our direction is to do
the heavy lift and propose much-needed reforms
to the Lead and Copper Rule and to finalize
those next year, and we have
100 percent commitment to do that
because of his direction. His other direction to me was
to move with deliberate speed; move really, really fast
to get this done, but to get it right. And how do you get it right?
What we do by — to get it right is we had to do
exhaustive stakeholder outreach. We met with hundreds
of stakeholders throughout the country; we worked with our state,
tribal, and local leaders; we listened to
our science advisory board, the EPA science
advisory board. We worked with our National
Drinking Water Advisory Council; we took a look at
the best available science; we took a look at the best
available engineering; and we just — we really
went out and we listened. In fact, my very first day
on the job of — I was sworn in January 8, 2018.
At about 2:30 in the afternoon, they asked me to pop
into a kickoff of a federal consultation
for the Lead and Copper Rule. And so, at that point
I really didn’t know much about the substance
of what they were talking about. Obviously, I know
the Lead and Copper Rule, but I didn’t know
the types of reforms that they were talking about. And they asked me
to walk into this room, and so I asked the team like, “What’s the process here?”
They said, “It’s pretty simple. We ask questions,
and we listen.” You know, they had gathered
a bunch of experts from around the country
to ask questions and to listen, and that has been the driving
principle for our proposal. Our drinking water team,
led by Jennifer McLain and Eric Burneson
and the entire team, have worked hard
to take into account what the public has told us
they want to see, and they’ve put together
a proposal that we can implement and that local communities
can implement. And so, our —
Administrator Wheeler’s and my management technique
was exactly the same. When the team put together
the recommended proposal, came to us with
their recommended options, we asked questions,
and we listened. The proposal
that you see is a — is the leadership
of Administrator Wheeler, but it’s the career
technical experts and staff that have put
this proposal forward, and so I think
they’re listening right now. Thank you to the team
for the hard work. It has been an amazing
amount of effort, it’s a major milestone,
but we’re not done. We’re going to offer
public comment. We want you, as the
Administrator mentioned, to tell us what you got right,
tell us what we got wrong, tell us how we can do
some enhancements. We’re going to listen,
we’re going to read it, and we’re going to finalize it. It is still a significant amount
of work left to be done, but we’re committed
to getting it done. So, I want to end by —
and we’re going to turn over to answer some questions
from the press and the gathered stakeholders
here, but I want to — before I turn over
to the Administrator to answer questions, I want to answer
the first simple question, and that’s, why Green Bay? When I took a look
across the country as to who is doing
innovative work, Green Bay popped up
to the top of the list. So, Mayor,
thank you for hosting us. Nancy, thank you
for your leadership and for letting me
spend some time with Green Bay
a few months ago, and most importantly,
for letting me spend some time with your operators
and your technicians. Those are the people
that protect public health every single day. They do not get the recognition
that they deserve, and so thank you
for letting me come and thank them
for their effort. And so, going forward, our job is to replicate
what Green Bay has done. What you’ve heard is
they identified a problem; they developed a plan; they developed the willpower
to take on that plan. They recognized that you can’t
do public health protection without investing
in the infrastructure and the capital
and human capital, so they got creative
on how to finance it. Then they went
and implemented the plan, and they were very kind of
forthright with their community, the public education
and awareness. But the thing that really
impressed me most, Nancy, when we met
was the final piece, and that’s for
your public accountability. You put down a plan; you know
it’s going to take time; and you’re measuring success
based on that plan, and you are not afraid to tell
the people where you are. You can’t fix every pipe
in every street instantaneously. It takes effort,
and your team is doing that. So, Mayor, Nancy, thank you. Most importantly,
thank you to your operators and your technicians
who, every single day, get the lead out.
So, I appreciate that. Administrator,
want to come back up? [applause]>>Andrew Wheeler:
Do we have any questions?>>Female Speaker:
Please raise your hand. I’ll come by
with the microphone. Are there any questions
from the press?>>Erinn Taylor: Erinn Taylor,
Local Five News. I’m just wondering,
what’s that public comment and input going to look like? How’s that process
going to work?>>Andrew Wheeler:
So, it will be published. I’m getting ready
to sign it today. It will be sent
to the Federal Register, should appear in the Federal
Register within a few weeks. In the meantime, it will be on
our website, the EPA website, so people can go ahead
and take a look, as of today, on the website
to see the proposal. After it’s published
in the Federal Register, it will start a 60-day clock, and the public
will have 60 days, so that’s probably about two
or three weeks from now. The state clock will start;
we take comments from anyone. There are directions
on the website or in the Federal Register
on how to comment, and we encourage comments. And then after we’ve —
after the comment period closes, we will then review all the
comments, answer the questions, make adjustments
to the regulation, and then finalize
the Lead and Copper Rule. Our goal is to finalize it
by next summer.>>Female Speaker:
Next question.>>Amanda Becker:
Amanda, Fox 11. Some environmental organizations say that this weakens
the water drinking standards because you only have
to replace 3 percent of the lead service lines, and that, over time,
is a 20-year difference. What’s your comment to that?>>Andrew Wheeler: Well, they’re not looking at the math correctly. You know, the old number
they’re looking at is 7 percent, but there were off-ramps
where if you — you didn’t have to
actually replace 7 percent. So, our 3 percent
that is required to be replaced every single year
is actually far more aggressive than what
the previous regulation had. I think they’re just taking
a few talking points and making some judgments
without having read the proposal yet,
but if you look at it, we no longer provide
the off-ramps. So, if you are in noncompliance, you must replace 3 percent
every single year. In the past, if you’re in
noncompliance, you’re able to change
your monitoring or your testing, and after maybe six months, say that you’re in compliance
and stop the replacement. Once you hit that trigger
you can’t stop the replacement. So, it is a permanent
3 percent per year, and it’s going to get
the lead service lines replaced a much faster level. We also created
a new trigger level, which is below the 15 micrograms
per liter at 10 micrograms per liter. We’re also requiring
for the first time ever if a homeowner replaces
their lead service lines, then the water supplier
must also replace that water
supplier-owned service lines. So, we’re actually anticipating
a much higher percentage than 3 percent
will actually be replaced, and then with
the additional monitoring that
we’re requiring and testing, and particularly
the testing of schools and local daycare centers, we believe we’re on the right
path to get as — the lead service lines replaced
at a much faster rate than we ever have before. Again, I think some of
the environmental groups who just love to attack us for any reason maybe looked
at one or two of the facts without reading
the actual proposal to see how the program works. We welcome them to take a look
at it, read the whole proposal, give us their thoughtful
comments after they’ve read it, but I would ask them
to please read it first. Any other questions?
Dave, feel free to jump in.>>Kati Anderson: Kati Anderson,
Action Two News. I’m wondering,
since Green Bay is here and they have a plan to replace
all the lead pipes by 2020, does the EPA have
a similar goal in mind to do that across the country?>>Andrew Wheeler:
Green Bay has moved — they, of course, started before
a lot of communities. We want to make sure
the communities that are most at risk, that are above the 15 micrograms
per liter, that — or that trigger the 10,
or that have lead service lines that are impacting schools
and daycare centers, that those get replaced first.
It would be great if we could replace
all the lead service lines in the entire country overnight,
but that’s — it’s a $700 billion enterprise
to replace them all. And what we’re focusing on
is making sure that those communities,
regardless of their zip code, regardless of whether or not
it’s an affluent community or a struggling,
under-served community, that those communities that have
the worst lead in their pipes get those pipes replaced first. That’s why we’re focusing
on the triggers and we’re focusing
on the monitoring and why we make changes on how
the monitoring can take place. A number of small details,
but it’s very important, very important details —
the way you test for it; the fact that you can’t
flush out the system before you test for it.
We want to make sure that we’re testing
under the actual conditions that people
are drinking their water.>>Female Speaker:
Are there any other questions? If not, without further ado, we will
all get up to sign the rule.>>Andrew Wheeler:
Okay. [talking simultaneously] [laughter] [applause]>>Cathy Stepp: Thank you so much everybody for joining us today.

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