Drinking Water: Additional Data and Statistical Analysis May Enhance EPA's Oversight of the Lead and Copper Rule, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 8MB]

"Drinking water contaminated with lead in Flint, Michigan, renewed awareness of the danger lead poses to the nation's drinking water supply. Lead exposure through drinking water is caused primarily by the corrosion of plumbing materials, such as pipes, that carry water from a water system to pipes in homes. EPA set national standards to reduce lead in drinking water with the LCR [Lead and Copper Rule], which applies to all water systems providing drinking water to most of the U.S. population, except places where people do not remain for long, such as campgrounds. States generally have primary responsibility for enforcing the LCR, and data help EPA monitor states' and systems' compliance with the LCR. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review the issue of elevated lead in drinking water. Among other objectives, this report examines (1) what available EPA data show about LCR compliance among water systems and (2) factors that may contribute to LCR noncompliance. GAO analyzed EPA data on violations and enforcement of the LCR from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2016, interviewed EPA officials in headquarters and the 10 regional offices; conducted a statistical analysis of the likelihood of reported LCR violations; and held discussion groups with a nonprobability sample of regulators representing 41 states."

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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