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Regulatory Flexibility for Small Entities

SBAR Panel: Long-Term Revisions for the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR)

Key Dates and Documents for this SBAR Panel

  • Convening Date: 08/14/2012
  • Completion Date: 04/16/2013
  • Panel Report: The Panel Report will be made available when the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking publishes.

About the Rule

About this SBAR Panel

What is the Implication of the Rulemaking on Small Entities?

EPA first promulgated the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to control lead and copper levels in drinking water in 1991. The rule requires treatment techniques to reduce lead and copper levels in drinking water. These include corrosion control treatment, source water treatment, lead service line replacement and public education.

The LCR set an action level (AL) of 0.015 mg/L or 15 parts per billion (ppb) for lead and 1.3 mg/L or 1300 ppb for copper. The action level is a concentration of lead or copper in the water that determines, in some cases, whether a water system must install corrosion control treatment, monitor source water, replace lead service lines, and/or undertake a public education program. The action level is exceeded if the concentration in more than 10 percent of tap water samples collected during any monitoring period is greater than the action level (i.e., if the 90th percentile level is greater than the action level). If the 90th percentile value for tap water samples is above the action level, it does not signal a violation, but may trigger other requirements that include water quality parameter monitoring (WQP), corrosion control treatment (CCT), source water monitoring/treatment, public education, and/or lead service line replacement.

EPA is developing a proposal to modify the current Lead and Copper Rule. Requirements under consideration for modification include sample site selection criteria, tap sampling procedures, water quality parameters monitoring, lead service line replacement, and consecutive water system requirements. The changes under consideration are intended to improve public health protection provided by the LCR and streamline requirements.

For more background on the LCR, visit the Lead and Copper Rule web page.

How Can I Learn More?

If you are or represent a small public water system serving no more than 10,000 or fewer persons, you may be a small entity affected by this rulemaking. While the opportunity to participate on this Panel has passed, you will have the chance to submit comments concerning this rulemaking during the standard public comment period commencing after publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.

Semiannual updates about the development status of the rulemaking are available on: