“WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to overhaul the way communities test their water for lead, a policy change that will be pitched ahead of Election Day as a major environmental achievement for a president not noted for his conservation record.
But a draft of the final rule obtained by The New York Times shows the E.P.A. rejected top medical and scientific experts who urged the agency to require the replacement of the country’s six million to 10 million lead service lines, an expensive but effective way to avoid crises like the one still afflicting Flint, Mich.
The measure is the first major update in nearly three decades to the 1991 Lead and Copper Rule, a regulation aimed at protecting drinking water from lead, a potent neurotoxin that has been linked to developmental problems in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said there is no safe level of lead exposure for children, and the new rule requires for the first time testing for lead in all schools and day care centers.”