WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 16, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — The House passed H.R. 4470, the Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act, a bill that ensures the public will learn of excessive lead levels in drinking water by setting forth how and when states, EPA and drinking water utilities must communicate their findings. Following passage, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) released the following statement:
“Clean, safe water is fundamental to our communities. In Flint, Michigan, the EPA did not let people know that the water they were drinking contained dangerous levels of lead. This legislation requires the EPA as well as water utilities and states to let people know when elevated levels of lead are detected in drinking water. Moreover, the EPA must create a plan to ensure that information about the quality of drinking water flows quickly and effectively between local and state governments, water utilities and consumers.”
“Recently, a community in my district, Greentown, Indiana, discovered levels of lead in the water that caused concern at a local school after conducting independent testing. As a result of miscommunication between the school system and the local utility, the school system was not independently notified when some local residents received letters last October indicating that high levels of lead had been detected in local drinking water. Simple, no-cost solutions that encourage information sharing between consumers, local governments and regulators can help prevent situations like the one in Greentown, and better protect us from lead in our drinking water. ”
H.R. 4470 would:
Require public notification when enforceable requirements for lead in drinking water are exceeded.
Public water systems must notify their consumers if the lead action level is exceeded in their drinking water system.
When a lead action level is exceeded for the 90th percentile of a public water system’s customers, (causing significant potential for adverse health consequences) EPA must quickly notify the public if the state or local drinking water system fails to do so.
Require EPA to create a strategic plan for handling and improving information flow between drinking water utilities, the states, EPA, and affected drinking water consumers when there is an enforceable lead exceedance in drinking water.
Ensure all levels of government communicate with each other.
Require consumer notification when water being transported in a lead pipe is sufficiently corrosive that it could leach lead into public drinking water.