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Lead in drinking water

October 23, 2016 Star Beacon Aqua America launching lead poisoning awareness campaign
Many of Ohio's rural communities are served by Aqua America. Here's the company's response to Flint and Sebring...just a year too late, but always welcome.

July 20, 2016 Pittsburgh Post Gazette County Health Department assigns homework on lead testing
It may be a while before universal screening of young children for lead poisoning is considered again by the Allegheny County Board of Health, after members voiced concerns last week and asked for more information about widespread testing and how best to conduct it. “I actually think to ask for universal screening, we need to find out the current obstacles for pediatricians,” county health director Karen Hacker said Friday, following the board’s request. She said the department will talk to doctors themselves about screening, how it’s covered by insurance and what support structure is needed for universal testing. “Overall the concept makes sense,” she said. “The obstacles have to be addressed. We have to monitor it and have to look at what can be done in enforcement.”

July 1, 2016 Expect Congressional Action on Lead in Water supplies?
The Guardian reports "US House Office Building has excessive lead in drinking water." According to reports across the media, Congressional reps and staff working in the Cannon Office Building have been issued bottled water because routine tests turned up lead levels above the EPA actionable guidelines. This news comes on the heels of a NRDC report on lead in water hazards across the country. The Guardian report says:"Democratic congressman Dan Kildee, whose district includes Flint and has an office in the Cannon building, said the incident shows lawmakers should do more to eradicate lead in water."  
So maybe Congress realizes that lead poisoning isn't just a problem "out there"...or maybe they get to like the taste of water from BPA laced plastic long as they don't have to pay for tourists and visitors to have lead free drinking water. posted 

EPA lead regulations need an overhaul
Washington Post reports that decades long concerns about the inadequacy of Federal water standards and months long agony over the suffering of Flint residents have not been enough to move the issue forward. "...officials also say that they do not expect to conclude their overhaul until some time in 2017, in part because of the complexities of the regulations and the diversity of opinions about what shape they should take. Until the changes are released, key questions will go unanswered: Will the revised rule close loopholes? Will it speed the process of getting lead out of water systems for good? Will utilities embrace the new regulations, and will state officials implement them? 
And will the EPA crack down on those who don’t?

Pataskala debates lead-testing program
      Newark Advocate describes a debate over expanded lead testing in Pataskala. "The city tests 20 older homes once every three years for unsafe lead and copper, and Coey said 2016 falls into the cycle. To that end, Coey said the city intends to advertise the testing program in an effort to find at least 20 participants. 'That will allow for what I call consumer confidence, from the standpoint there is nothing to hide,' Coey said. Coey referenced opening up the program to more than the 20 people required by the Environmental Protection Agency, but some Utility Committee members questioned the potential cost, should there be a flood of volunteers."
       RHINO predicts: no landlords will apply to be tested. after all they don't drink the water and if they don't know about a problem they are not required to disclose or repair it.

lead and water overview highlights the problem of conflicting enforcement jurisdictions

Update: The Long, Ugly History of the Politics of Lead Poisoning  Posted February 10, 2016.
Update: We are all Flint (sort of) Posted February 13, 2016
Update: Why we still have lead 40 years later.

6 March 2016 The Guardian Water utilities serving American cities use tests that downplay contamination
Guardian analysis reveals millions of customers were asked to used testing method condemned by the EPA which may flush out detectable lead content. Water utilities in some of the largest cities in the US that collectively serve some 12 million people have used tests that downplay the amount of lead contamination found in drinking water for more than a decade, a Guardian analysis of testing protocols reveals. In the tests, utilities ask customers who sample their home’s water for lead to remove the faucet’s aerator screen and to flush lines hours before tests, potentially flushing out detectable lead contamination. The distorted tests, condemned by the Environmental Protection Agency, have taken place in cities including Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio. The improper screening could decrease the chance of detecting potentially dangerous levels of lead in water, the EPA has said.

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