06/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/15/2021 13:17
BOSTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a community roundtable with organizers representing Malden, Mass. to highlight the city's experience with lead in drinking water. This roundtable discussion, along with nine others being held with communities across the country, is essential to informing EPA's review of the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) revisions to ensure that the rule is grounded in the lived experience of individuals and communities that are most at-risk of exposure to lead in drinking water.
'The residents of Malden and the Boston metro area deserve clean, safe drinking water. EPA is committed to helping achieve this essential goal through technical assistance, financing support, and regulatory protections under the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions,' said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro. 'Addressing a challenge like this requires partnerships and strong leaders, so I want to thank the community groups that organized this roundtable and Malden's elected officials for their leadership on this important issue.'
'The City of Malden has approximately 3,200 lead service lines which is about 25% of the water service lines. Our goal is to expedite the elimination of all lead service lines in the shortest possible amount of time, but as an environmental justice community we are faced with many obstacles,' said Mayor Gary Christenson. 'We are grateful to the EPA for hosting this roundtable to gain our perspective and also for their commitment to making sure communities like Malden are protected.'
Participants in today's community roundtable are expected to include representatives of Clean Water Fund, MaldenCORE, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson, the Malden Water Department, the Malden Department of Engineering, and Cambridge Health Alliance.
Additional information on the virtual roundtable, including a video capturing speakers during the virtual event, will be available at: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/lead-and-copper-rule-revisions-virtual-engagements.
Lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement. EPA is committed to following the best science to address lead in the nation's drinking water and will take the appropriate time to review the LCR Revisions and make sure communities that have been impacted the most are protected. In March of this year, EPA announced an extension of the effective date of the Revised Lead and Copper Rule so that the agency could seek further public input on the rule. The agency hosted virtual public listening sessions on April 28, 2021, and May 5, 2021. On May 26, 2021, EPA announced the ten communities that were selected for virtual roundtable discussions on EPA's LCR Revisions. Members of the public may also submit comments via the docket at: https://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0255 until June 30, 2021.