New guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is intended to help communities and water utilities identify lead pipes that connect drinking water service to homes and other buildings.

This action marks a key milestone in implementing the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. The information and recommended practices are geared toward helping water systems comply with the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions requirement to prepare and maintain an inventory of service line materials by October 16, 2024.

The EPA guidance:

  • Provides best practices for inventory development and risk communications.
  • Contains case studies on developing, reviewing and communicating about inventories.
  • Includes a template for water systems, states and tribes to use or adapt to create their own inventory.
  • Highlights the importance of prioritizing inventory development in disadvantaged communities and where children live and play.

These agency provisions will also facilitate investment of $15 billion in funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that is dedicated to lead service line replacement. BIL funding can be used for lead service line replacement projects and associated activities directly connected to the identification, planning, design and replacement of lead service lines, including development of service line inventories themselves.

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