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Covert writes: "A day after House members learned that the drinking water in one of the Congressional office buildings had been shut off due to lead contamination, a bipartisan group of 61 representatives sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency demanding that it improve its lead regulations."

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), who spearheaded the letter to the EPA. (photo: Lauren Victoria/AP)
Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), who spearheaded the letter to the EPA. (photo: Lauren Victoria/AP)


After Lead Contamination in House Office Building's Water, Lawmakers Demand EPA Reforms

By Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress

01 July 16

 

day after House members learned that the drinking water in one of the Congressional office buildings had been shut off due to lead contamination, a bipartisan group of 61 representatives sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency demanding that it improve its lead regulations.

The letter urges the EPA to update the Lead and Copper Rule, the regulation meant to keep the U.S.’s drinking water free from lead contamination, so that the threshold for action is lower. Currently, if a water system finds that at least 10 percent of homes tested show levels of lead at 15 parts per billion, steps have to be taken to reduce it, including replacing lead service lines and improving the use of corrosion control measures to keep lead from leeching from pipes into water.

That action level was established in 1991 in line with the best science of the time and what was considered feasible. But, as the letter notes, “Corrosion control technologies and our understanding of the negative impacts of lead at low doses have advanced significantly since that time.” As it points out, the World Health Organization and European Union Council Directive have adopted action levels of 10 parts per billion.

The letter also urges the EPA to establish a national clearinghouse of information on tests that reveal high lead levels so that the public has more access and notification. The EPA has said that it’s working on a revision to the Lead and Copper Rule and will release a draft next year.

Some of the signatories have offices in the Cannon House Office Building, the building where tests revealing elevated lead levels prompted a water shutoff late on Tuesday night and only bottled water is being used.

One of the members, Dan Kildee (D-MI), also represents Flint, the city that has been poisoned by lead contamination of its drinking water since 2014. In a statement on Wednesday, he said, “Congress has so far failed to act on Flint aid and now some Members of Congress have had their own water shut off due to high lead levels in their Washington offices… Every American deserves to have access to safe drinking water. America is the richest and most prosperous country in the world — we can afford to provide safe drinking water to our citizens.”

A report that was released earlier on Tuesday outlined just how widespread a problem lead in water is. It found that 1,110 water systems serving more than 3.9 million people had lead levels above the EPA’s action level between 2013 and 2015. Flint wasn’t even counted in those figures.

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+38 # tswhiskers 2016-07-01 08:27
Those b*****s! There is NEVER a problem unless/until it directly affect Congress. So NOW we're going to upgrade the Lead and Copper rule? This is now what the phrase "democracy in action" has come to mean. Thanks to Dan Kildee for showing us all the true mettle of our leaders. Here's hoping that your 9% approval rating goes down to 0.
 
 
+25 # HowardMH 2016-07-01 09:57
Tswhiskers you are being to kind to these scum sucking, money grubbing, totally bought and paid for whores in the congress. Lets get them some bottled water from the Flint River and see how loud they can scream then.
The American Spring will start when there are thousands of really, really pissed off people at the Capital all at the same time raising some serious hell against the Lunatics, and idiots absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 400 families in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.

So, scream, yell, chant, stomp your feet, threaten to hold your breath, and beat your drums so the media can show it on the evening news, while all of those who can actually do anything about it are home counting their donation money and laughing all the way to the bank.

How is that Hopie Changie been working out for you so far?
Yes there is still hope for the America we used to know, but I agree it is fading fast.
 
 
+25 # librarian1984 2016-07-01 10:02
Same with legislatures all over the country. The gun laws are a great example. How many places have open carry laws almost everywhere -- EXCEPT the statehouse?

And they get to vote themselves raises -- while they don't do their jobs. WHY have we been tolerating all this nonsense from them?

Your hope may come true, whiskers. I didn't think my opinion of them could go any lower, but WHUMP, there it is.
 
 
+6 # Fasttense 2016-07-02 15:12
As you said Gun laws are a good example, try carrying a gun into a bank and see what happens.
 
 
+7 # dquandle 2016-07-02 21:46
They should be made to drink the contaminated water for as long as they remain in office. And force their families to do the same.
 
 
0 # hwmcadoo 2016-07-07 15:23
I need to stop reading these legitimate comments. My anger is rising faster than my blood pressure

I'm going back to my lab now to continue my work on a form of disease that only affects members of Congress.
 
 
+18 # kabac55 2016-07-01 09:30
This could explain a lot about the gridlock in Congress. It wasn't Kool Aid, it was the water. ;O)
 
 
+25 # guomashi 2016-07-01 10:20
Quoting kabac55:
This could explain a lot about the gridlock in Congress. It wasn't Kool Aid, it was the water. ;O)


I don't know about gridlock, but it certainly explains the mental deficiencies of congressional representatives .
 
 
0 # hwmcadoo 2016-07-07 15:20
They are way to stupid and narcissistic to ever realize this obvious fact.
 
 
+25 # LionMousePudding 2016-07-01 09:47
They probably have no clue how callous and selfish they have just shown themselves to be.
 
 
# Guest 2016-07-01 09:54
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
+32 # librarian1984 2016-07-01 10:06
They STILL haven't sent $$ to Flint?!

I say we don't fix THEIR water until they do.
 
 
+14 # guomashi 2016-07-01 10:22
Quoting librarian1984:
They STILL haven't sent $$ to Flint?!

I say we don't fix THEIR water until they do.


My sentiments exactly!
Scions of an incestuous hypocrisy all of them.
 
 
+9 # fuzzbuzz 2016-07-02 15:50
They'll just continue to drink bottled water on our dime. Probably give themselves a raise, too, while they're at it.
 
 
+20 # Barbara K 2016-07-01 10:29
As a Michigan resident, and after republicans in Congress denied help for Flint, I knew they would do nothing unless it affected them. See how fast they are moving now. By the way Dan Kildee (D), has been fighting endlessly to help Flint.

..
 
 
+8 # fuzzbuzz 2016-07-02 15:54
They'll only move far enough to help themselves.

Agreed that Congress is 100% corrupt, but I don't see how Flint was their fault. It was the governor and his emergency mayors, all of whom deserve jail at the very least.
 
 
+8 # librarian1984 2016-07-02 17:33
But it's become their fault if they are delaying help.
 
 
+20 # chemtex2611 2016-07-01 11:44
Congress , led by McConnell and Boehner/ Ryan>, have intentionally tied EPA's hands on updating the lead and copper rules. Until this week, they were proud of that feat.
 
 
+8 # OLDGUY 2016-07-01 13:35
Lead primarily affects children so why are they worried, wait now I know why.
 
 
+9 # Femihumanist 2016-07-01 18:46
Quoting OLDGUY:
Lead primarily affects children so why are they worried, wait now I know why.


OLDGUY, looks like we finally agree on something; most people in Congress have mental ages of under 6 and they know it. They don't know the difference
 
 
# Guest 2016-07-02 15:59
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
+1 # dquandle 2016-07-02 21:48
You've just unutterably insulted our entire future.
 
 
+10 # Ken Halt 2016-07-01 20:37
I've suspected, for many years, intellectual inadequacies in the US congress. Some of them have been glaring, such as McConnell, Santorum, Ryan, Imhof, Cantor, DeLay, Gingrich, etc. I hadn't suspected the culprit was the lead-fused water but, hey, makes sense, doesn't it?
 
 
0 # hwmcadoo 2016-07-07 15:17
Excellent analysis. Probably true.
 
 
+7 # treerapper 2016-07-02 05:56
What a bunch of gangsters. Until they can figure out how to do THE PEOPLE'S business, they shouldn't see a dime - not salary, pension, health insurance or that damned gym.

It's time that they become the guinea pigs instead of all uf us.
 
 
0 # hwmcadoo 2016-07-07 15:17
It will never happen. Remember this bunch of gangsters get to vote on their own salary, pension, health insurance and that damned gym.
 
 
+8 # maverita 2016-07-02 06:30
as i've mentioned before-- they won't act on gun control until there is a mass shooting involving congress. they are nothing if not self-serving, eh?
 
 
+2 # fuzzbuzz 2016-07-02 20:28
I thought this was satire at first.
 
 
+4 # dquandle 2016-07-02 21:51
Perhaps we could arrange to have the Flint River hooked into the White House water system permanently.
 
 
0 # hwmcadoo 2016-07-07 15:14
They don't care about your water but sure care about theirs!

What a bunch of selfish, uncaring, corrupt, psychopathic, venal, irresponsible, hateful pieces of excrement we have for leaders!
 
 
0 # hwmcadoo 2016-07-07 15:26
Sorry, I left out S.O.B.s and stupid; my bad.
 

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