For Immediate Release

Washington D.C.—In comments submitted today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the world’s largest organization of public works professionals said EPA should consider other variables as it works to remove lead service lines, and keep its promise to not require ratepayers to cover the cost of the massive project.

American Public Works Association CEO Scott D. Grayson, CAE, and APWA President Gary Losier, PEng, signed the letter addressing EPA’s proposed changes to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for lead and copper.

“It is increasingly clear the funds provided (for lead service line replacement) are insufficient to meet the rising cost burden from new or more stringent regulations,” the APWA letter said.

While the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) outlines $26.7 billion to replace all lead service lines, just $15 billion of this is dedicated to replacing the lines while the balance in the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, or DWSRF, is “being stretched” by other demands.

“DWSRF can support the replacement of LSLs, but they are also being utilized for addressing other contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water systems and as pay-fors for congressionally directed spending (earmarks),” the letter said. “We expect the administration to fulfill their pledge that utilities and their ratepayers will not be required to pay to replace lead pipes on private property provided they replace whole pipes.”

“While the objectives of the proposed rule are well meaning,” Grayson and Losier said there is cause for concern.

“We want to ensure respect for local authorities regarding infrastructure and encourage close coordination across federal, state, and local governments to enhance the project process and avoid overwhelming public works professionals in carrying out their responsibilities especially for limited staff in small and disadvantaged communities,” they said.

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About APWA

The American Public Works Association is a not-for-profit, international organization of 32,000 members involved in the field of public works. APWA serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy, and the exchange of knowledge. Headquartered in Kansas City, MO, APWA also operates a government affairs office in Washington, D.C., and guides 62 chapters and 97 branches throughout North America.

Contact

Mark Shade
APWA Government Affairs Media Manager
(202) 218-6736
mshade@apwa.org