New EPA rule addresses lead in drinking water

Erik Olson of the National Resources Defense Council discusses the new rule that would limit exposure to lead in drinking water.
3:25 | 10/10/19

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Transcript for New EPA rule addresses lead in drinking water
A new move by the trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency that might surprise you the environmental agency today announced a new regulation. Yes adding a regulation aimed at reducing exposure to wed in drinking water in this country. The Flint, Michigan crisis of course five years ago put the spotlight on this but take a look at this map. And the cities in this country in communities in this country thousands of them that are actually being impacted right now. By elevated levels. Of lead in their drinking water Stephanie ads is our environmental reporter she's been out all over the story from the start Stephanie get break it down for stroke quickly here what EPA's community what steps to be taking. Yet so this is that big gifts look. Effort to sit. The limit X limited exposure to lead in and decades Wheeler compared IE PH and Andrew Wheeler compared it to. Ending letting gasoline at banning lead paint so basically what what they say they're doing is they are rolling out this proposal to target. Lead service lines which is what's literally bringing the water incher house that are most likely to expose you to at. So there's there's multiple things in this process that require actually identifying where those estimated ten million let's service finds are in the country could actually don't know right now. Different ways of treating that water just for ways of testing that water. Requirements to notify people if our water has asked justice to be clear this is the trump BP putting in new rules new regulations. It and collection it. It's the letting copper rule which is a major EPA regulation it's been under. Review for years and years. And they had they say that since the flick crisis they really buckled down and and needed to get this. Eric Olson is with us as well he's from the National Resources Defense Council tracking. These water issues for communities and families they're great to see you soon as this and is this a positive step in your view. Well there are few things in here that are good the problem is that it's sort of putting a happy face on. Some really serious problems with the rule for example they're extending. The requirement the current requirement to pull out those lead pipes out of the ground. Currently they're supposed to be pulled out within thirteen years this if they're high levels of lead and they're stretching that out to 33 years so. Although there's some tweaks that might have some small benefit we're very concerned about basically more than doubling the amount of time. That it is allowed for the Wadi systems to take out those lead pipe so that is a worry that we have. By an EPA had actually responded to that concern by saying there were loopholes in the 7% requirement and the 3% it. Full pipe replacement note auction some fascinating as this is being rolled out Eric were quickly before I let you go away at what can people concerned about lead in their water do this is obviously so that we can't tasters C. But give us some news we can use in terms of how would help protect ourselves. Other millions of people more than five and a half million people served by these systems that have problems and probably more than that so you can tell you water tested you can. Contact a certified laboratory. Com and get your water tested for lead and you can also consider using. They filter than is independently certified to remove land. But you have to install that right and you have to maintain it and change it correctly or else you can continue having problems. All right great to have you with its air course and start we can talk longer thinking so much for coming in from the National Resources Defense Council. So FES thank you as always some interesting news hour coming out of the EPA today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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