New Ohio law requires mapping of lead pipes in water systems’ service areas; stricter federal laws expected in 2017

CLEVELAND, Ohio – In the aftermath of the lead crises last year in Flint, Mich., and the Mahoning County village of Sebring in January, state environmental officials knew they needed to take immediate preventive action. Flint and Sebring “had really shaken the public’s trust,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler. “People should not have to be concerned about drinking their tap water.” The U.S. EPA was in the process of reviewing federal lead laws, but no changes were expected for a year or two, said Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer. “Which was one of the main reasons we pushed for House Bill 512,” Griesmer said. In June, Governor Kasich signed the legislation, which instituted a series of new restrictions on lead in the state’s drinking water. The changes involved accelerated notifications of residents whose homes were detected with lead in the drinking water, and a requirement that every public water system in the state identify and map the locations of lead piping in their entire service areas.


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