EPA Calls on States to Take the Lead on Lead

Lead testing services for drinking water

Earlier this month Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told reporters that eradicating lead from drinking water is one of his top priorities. 

Pruitt said part of the President’s $1.5 trillion plan to bolster the nation’s infrastructure includes investments in aging water infrastructure, which Pruitt believes should focus on eliminating lead in potable water. In his conversation with reporters, however, Pruitt appeared to place the onus on state and local governments, calling on them to invest in such upgrades. 

U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) criticized Pruitt for lack of a clear plan to reduce lead in drinking water. Kildee has drafted legislation that would reduce the federal Action Level (AL) for lead in drinking water to 5 parts per billion (5 ppb). Kildee said his legislation would force federal and state governments to adopt “a level that is science-based that says there is no acceptable level of lead.” 

Many environmental testing laboratories currently have the capability to detect lead at low levels in drinking water. In fact, Babcock Laboratories has the expertise and instrumentation necessary to measure lead down to 5 ppb, as Kildee is proposing. Whether or not we will see such a regulatory change in the near future, however, has yet to be determined. For the past 10 years the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule for lead in drinking water has remained at an AL of 15 ppb.         

Babcock Laboratories is both ELAP and NELAP accredited and has over 20 years of experience determining ultra-trace amounts of lead in drinking water. In addition to lead, Babcock Laboratories offers a suite of heavy metal testing services for drinking water. If you are interested in our heavy metal testing services, including lead testing, please contact our Director of Client Services, Cathy Iijima