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Revised Lead and Copper Rule on the Way

Date: May 25, 2021

The federal Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) were published Jan 15, 2021 and will have to be adopted by the state within two years of final promulgation. However, EPA has since placed the rule on hold for at least three months, and is seeking comments regarding a possible additional extension to December, 2021 for additional stakeholder input. These revisions constitute the first major overhaul of the original LCR that was enacted in 1991. NHDES will be performing outreach and issuing guidance over the following year to work with New Hampshire’s approximately 1,200 non-transient systems to plan and prepare for these changes. Highlights of the LCRR as published in January include:

  • New 10 ppb 90th percentile Trigger Level (in addition to the existing 15 ppb Action Level) that requires corrosion control review, return to annual sampling (all sample locations), public notification to customers with lead service lines (LSL), and initiation of goal-based full LSL replacements.
  • 24-hour Acute Public Notification for Lead Action Level Exceedances. 
  • “Find and Fix” confirmation lead and water quality sampling at individual sites testing above 15 ppb within five days (notification within three days), even if passing the 90th percentile.
  • Preparation of publicly available inventory of service line materials and LSL replacement plans by January 16, 2024. Inventory must include utility and customer-owned and be categorized as either lead pipe, galvanized requiring replacement, lead-unknown, or non-lead.  
  • Sample Tiering redefinition and sample site review to perform all sampling at LSL sites, if available, and highest non-lead sites.  
  • Reset to Round 1 semi-annual sampling (all sample locations) in 2024 for all systems except those confirmed to have all non-lead service lines. 
  • Testing first and fifth liter, first draw, stagnant water samples at every LSL sample site. 
  • Provision of six months of certified lead point-of-use or pitcher filters following replacement of LSLs.
  • Testing in elementary schools and licensed childcare facilities (anticipated compliance via existing New Hampshire Lead Bill SB 247).

For more information contact [email protected] and visit the EPA’s Supporting Materials: Final Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule site.