Dec 22, 2010

Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act Passed by Congress

Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. advocated changes to nation's lead standards

Congress recently passed the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. The law provides for a 36-month implementation period, after which time manufacturers and importers will be required to comply with the new standard. It uniformly reduces the lead standard for pipes, pipe fittings and plumbing fittings from as much as 8% to 0.25% across the nation, which is consistent with the current laws in California, Vermont and Maryland.

"It is an exciting victory, primarily for consumers, and also for the plumbing manufacturing industry, as well as for wholesalers, retailers, contractors and others involved with the production, distribution, sales and installation of these products," says Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. Executive Director Barbara C. Higgens.

PMI and its members worked over the past several years to educate decision makers on lead and advocate for lowering the standard for lead in the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The organization worked with the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee to spur the introduction and approval of the law. It included previously approved language from the Assistance, Quality and Affordability Act of 2010, but is a stand-alone bill that imposed no cost to the federal government.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. James Inhofe and other representatives sponsored the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. The Senate approved it on a voice vote by unanimous consent. The House of Representatives followed, approving the bill in a 226 to 109 vote.