Press Release

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OEC Applauds Biden-Harris Administration’s Improved Lead and Copper Rule

For Immediate Release:

Emily Bacha or 614-487-5837

Washington, D.C.— Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced exciting improvements to the federal Lead and Copper Rule which builds upon the comprehensive approach to eliminate lead exposure in adults and children. The revised Lead and Copper Rule will require that agencies work with water utilities to reach 100% full replacement of lead services lines within ten years. This rule revision will be supported by $15 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, with 49% of the funding earmarked for disadvantaged communities.

Lead pipes are the number one cause of lead exposure in drinking water systems, and research shows that lead can lead to slowed development and brain damage in children as well as cardiovascular disease in adults. This rule will require that lead service line replacements include both the public and privately-owned portion of the line. 

The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Melanie Houston, Managing Director of Water Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):

“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for taking aggressive action towards getting lead out of our drinking water delivery systems. Ohio is one of the leading states when it comes to the number of lead service lines. This update to the Lead and Copper Rule will speed up the timeline for water systems to replace lead services, while immediately improving the safety of Ohioans drinking water by improving water sampling.”

Key provisions to the Lead and Copper Rule update:

  • Achieve 100% full lead pipe replacement in 10 years for the majority of water systems. There will be a minimum requirement of 10% removal each year.
  • Currently, the Lead and Copper Rule requires an initial inventory of all lead pipes by fall of 2024; with this rule update, annual updates must be made to those inventories, a replacement plan created, and a requirement to identify all lines that are currently made with unknown materials.
  • Includes more stringent sampling requirements when testing for lead in the water supply.
  • The lead action level will be lowered from 15 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 ppb, leading to quicker action and notification of the public, since no amount of lead in our drinking water is safe.
  • Additional requirements for more public outreach and notification of lead levels in a community’s drinking water. 
  • A requirement to make filters available to all consumers with elevated lead levels in their drinking water.


The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.