But it's for the kids: Cities Raise Alarms Over EPA’s Surprise Hydrant Lead Rule
Philadelphia has 119 fire hydrants that cost about $2,000 each waiting in a warehouse to be installed, yet they sit high and dry because federal regulators say their fittings might taint drinking water with lead.Isn't drinking out of a fire hose sort of a cliché?
The City of Brotherly Love and communities across the U.S. face the specter of hundreds of millions of dollars in useless hydrants after a surprise ruling last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that requires fireplugs put in after Jan. 4 meet stricter standards for lead content, said Tom Curtis of the American Water Works Association in Denver. That means cities must scrap or retrofit inventory or buy hydrants and parts that some vendors aren’t even making yet.
Manufacturers and Curtis’s group, which represents utilities that serve about 80 percent of Americans, are urging the agency to reconsider or at least allow more time to comply. American Cast Iron Pipe Co., one of the largest hydrant makers, is seeing some customers delay or cancel orders...
...Hydrants pose little, if any, risk of long-term lead exposure because they are used to supply drinking water only on occasions such as a festival or when a main breaks, Curtis said by telephone from Washington.The old stakeholders again; the interest group representatives that government agencies drag out of the shadows to validate the actions they wish to take?
The EPA said in a statement it is “meeting with stakeholders to listen to concerns and collect more information.”
The rule resulted from a law enacted in January 2011, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. The measure changed the amount of the metal allowed in plumbing components that contact water supplies from 8 percent to a weighted average of 0.25 percent, according to the EPA.