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EPIC Applauds EPA Guidance Urging Communities to Inventory and Replace Toxic Lead Pipes ‘As Soon as Possible’

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its Guidance for Developing and Maintaining a Service Line Inventory to support water systems with their efforts to develop inventories and to provide states with information for oversight and reporting to EPA.

The document contains guidance for water systems on the importance of doing inventories at the same time as replacement and as soon as possible; the use of emerging methods and new technologies, including predictive modeling; the importance of digitizing tap cards; a push to replace all lead service lines regardless of usage and public or private ownership; the use of environmental justice tools for mapping; and prioritizing vulnerable populations in replacement efforts.

The following is the Environmental Policy Innovation Center’s reaction to EPA’s guidance:

“No one in this country should be drinking lead-contaminated water when we have clear solutions and available funding in place,” said Maureen Cunningham, Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Water at the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC). “EPIC’s mission is about speed, so we truly appreciate the sense of urgency conveyed by the EPA to push water systems not only to complete lead inventories as soon as possible, but to do it while replacing toxic lead pipes at the same time."

"This is an ‘all hands on deck’ moment to replace America’s toxic lead pipes, so EPA’s embrace of emerging methods, new technologies, and digitization of paper records is a positive step forward," Cunningham added. "Focusing on identifying and replacing pipes at the same time that federal funds are available, and prioritizing our most vulnerable populations is the best approach to ensuring lead-free water in the next decade.”

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The Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) builds policies that deliver spectacular improvement in the speed and scale of environmental progress. A nonprofit start-up, EPIC focuses on water, endangered species, and environmental markets. Visit and follow on Twitter at @EPIConservation.