EPA Revises Lead and Copper Rule
Lead and copper contamination of water delivery systems, including those in public schools and childcare centers, is an ongoing problem in many communities. In response to increased awareness of the significant health risks associated with lead and copper contaminated drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revised its safety guidelines with respect to these contaminants.
Federal Lead and Copper Regulations
The EPA announced proposed changes to its Lead and Copper Rule, a regulation first created in 1991 to address potential contamination of water supplies having excessive lead or copper levels. While the “action level” for these toxic metals at 15 parts per billion, the proposed changes are intended to provide greater transparency in allowing the public and make accessible inventories of all homes connected to lead service lines, using internet databases. Trigger levels for required action on water pipes with lead corrosion would be established at 10 parts per billion. Under the new proposal, the EPA would also require water systems to test lead levels in the drinking water of 20 percent of all schools and childcare centers within their service territory.
Assistance for Homes with Lead Service Lines
Another proposed revision to the Lead and Copper Rule involves remediation services for high risk homes whose water supply is connected with lead service lines. Water systems still using lead service lines would be required to identify and fix any sources of potential lead contamination in homes testing positive for lead levels in excess of 15 parts per billion. The new regulations also require water systems to prepare and update inventories of homes served with lead service lines.
Notice to the Public
Many of the changes to the existing regulations highlight the need to notify the public of potential contamination as soon as possible. The EPA would be required to perform regular tap water testing of homes serviced by lead service lines. If a tap water sample contains a lead level of over 15 parts per billion, the homeowner and residents would need to be notified within 24 hours. This marks a significant change to the current 30-day notification requirement currently in place.
Compensation for Individuals Exposed to Dangerous Toxins
Exposure to toxins in drinking water, including exposure to excessive lead and copper levels, can result in lifelong physical disabilities. Research shows contaminated drinking water can result in serious and permanent health effects, including increased blood pressure, kidney damage, and increased risks of miscarriage and cancer. Children are especially vulnerable to damage from drinking lead-contaminated water, as it affects their developing nervous system, which can lead to intellectual disabilities.
Many toxic exposure victims face years of medical treatment for chronic conditions, resulting in thousands of dollars in medical bills. By filing a civil lawsuit against those parties responsible for releasing toxins into the environment, including the manufacturers and distributors of toxic materials, individuals can obtain the compensation they deserve.
Philadelphia Toxic Tort Lawyers at Williams Cedar Represent Victims of Toxic Exposure
If you were exposed to copper or lead contamination and developed a chronic medical condition, you may be entitled to compensation. At Williams Cedar, our experienced Philadelphia toxic tort lawyers work on behalf of individuals dealing with the aftermath of toxic exposure. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Cherry Hill and nationwide. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at 215-557-0099 or contact us online.