Attorney General Becerra: Trump Administration Misses Mark with Revisions to Rule to Protect Public from Lead in Drinking Water

Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of a final rule revising nationwide standards for controlling and remediating lead in drinking water. While some of the revisions to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule may improve upon current requirements, the rule does not go far enough to adequately protect the public from lead in drinking water.

“With the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately impacting low-income communities, it is more important than ever that the federal government prioritize public health in its rulemaking," said Attorney General Becerra. "Unfortunately, the Trump Administration's revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule miss the mark. Our communities deserve to know that the water they drink is not contaminated by toxic metals – and they expect more from our leaders than half-measures.”   

The Lead and Copper Rule is intended to protect public health and safety by reducing the harmful exposure to lead and copper in drinking water. Lead exposure disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. Lead, a highly toxic heavy metal, can adversely affect almost every organ and bodily system. It is particularly dangerous for children since their developing brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to its damaging effects. Lead exposure can cause a range of health problems, including premature birth, learning disabilities, delayed physical development for children, and cardiovascular and kidney problems for adults.

Today’s final rule is the first substantive overhaul of the Lead and Copper Rule since it was promulgated in 1991. The EPA’s revisions relate only to lead, leaving in place the existing regulations for copper. 

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