04.01.21 – Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced upcoming public listening sessions and roundtables to ensure that communities and stakeholders have the opportunity to provide their perspectives to the agency on protections from lead in drinking water. The impact of lead exposure, including through drinking water, is a public health issue of paramount importance and its adverse effects on children and public health are serious and well known. The goal of public engagement is to obtain further input on EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), including from individuals and communities that are most at-risk of exposure to lead in drinking water.

“Lower income communities and communities of color are often disproportionately exposed to lead, which can cause life-long negative effects,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Today, we are inviting these communities and other stakeholders to share their perspectives so that EPA can ensure that its review of the revised Lead and Copper Rule is grounded in their lived experience.”

Virtual public listening sessions will be held on April 28, 2021, and May 5, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., eastern daylight time. Those interested in speaking can sign up for a 3-minute speaking slot on EPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/safewater.

During this event, registered members of the public will be provided the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns about the impact of lead in their community as it relates to the LCRR with EPA senior officials and managers.

EPA will then host community-focused virtual roundtables, starting in May of 2021. The roundtables will facilitate discussion of their unique perspectives on LCRR-related topics among EPA and local organizations including but not limited to, local government entities, public water utilities, community-organized groups, environmental groups and elected officials.

Starting in June of 2021, EPA will also host virtual roundtables with other important stakeholder groups, including drinking water utilities, intergovernmental associations, environmental organizations, environmental justice organizations, public health organizations, and consumer associations. These stakeholder roundtables will allow representatives of national organizations to discuss LCRR-related topics and provide their national perspective to the Agency. Finally, EPA also intends to host a national co-regulator meeting with primacy agencies (e.g., states, tribes, and territories) in July 2021 to discuss the feedback received from communities and stakeholders.

EPA requests that communities or organizations that would like to be considered for a community-focused or stakeholder roundtable submit a nomination letter to the Agency no later than April 23, 2021.

Members of the public that are unable to attend any of the events will be able to submit comments via the docket at: http://www.regulations.gov,  Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0255 until June 30, 2021.

For details on what should be included in the nomination letters, meeting materials, and for additional event details visit: www.epa.gov/safewater.