EPA Urges Removal of 256,000 Lead Pipes in Kansas & Missouri in 10 Years

On 30 November 2023, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the removal of hundreds of thousands of lead pipes that lie hidden under the ground across Kansas and Missouri. The proposal aligns with President Joe Biden’s commitment to eliminate lead pipes. This step is directed towards reducing the permissible limit of lead in water by one-third. Kansas and Missouri utilities are compelled to set a plan in motion to achieve the goal within 10 years. 

Michael Regan, EPA administrator addressed the critical public health challenge posed by the abundant amount of lead present in drinking water. In a press release, he asserts that the proposed rule represents a significant step toward achieving President Biden’s goal of replacing all lead pipes in the United States. 

Before the adverse effects of lead poisoning were public knowledge, utilities were permitted to install lead water pipes that transported water from the main source into homes. Although the EPA banned such installations in 1986, there were no proposals made in the past urging the complete removal of the existing lead pipes. Also, some utility companies lack knowledge of the locations where the remaining lead pipes exist. 

It is estimated that the number of remaining lead service lines varies between 202,112 in Missouri and 54,107 in Kansas. However, environmental nonprofit the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates the figure to be much higher. They predict that the lead service lines are over 330,000 in Missouri and more than 160,000 in Kansas.

Lead is a neurotoxin that can be fatal when consumed in high doses. Historically, the substance is present in pipes, gasoline, and household paint. Low-level yet long-term exposure to lead can impair children’s brain development. Lead poisoning can lead to behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Babies who are exposed to lead in their childhood run the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. 

In the mid-20th century, lead poisoning was at an all-time high with the leaded gasoline in the market. Since then, the prevalence of lead poisoning has reduced significantly. However, thousands of children in Kansas and Missouri still show elevated blood lead levels annually. In older children, water contributes to nearly 20% of the entire lead exposure. Water serves as a primary source of lead exposure in bottle-fed infants. 

The NRDC contends that replacing lead service lines could result in lowered expenditure on health facilities, with an increased focus on cardiovascular disease. 

Erik Olson, The NRDC’s senior strategic director of health, emphasized the urgency of addressing the urgency of addressing the public health crisis posed by lead-contaminated water. 

The EPA plans to conduct public information sessions and listening sessions, welcoming comments through the new year. The agency aims to finalize the rule by October.

Read the article here – https://missouriindependent.com/2023/12/01/kansas-and-missouri-have-256000-lead-pipes-epa-wants-them-removed-within-10-years/ 

The authorities have realized the adverse impact of the abandoned pipes lying across America, especially in Kansas and Missouri. Groundwater pollution, especially with lead, poses a severe threat to infants, children, and adults alike. Residents run the risk of developing blood pressure issues and cardiovascular diseases. Hence, it is crucial to assess water quality in your area. Learning about what is there in your water can help you improve water quality and make it safe for human consumption. 

We invite you to schedule a water analysis with Culligan Water to ensure that your water is lead-free. Visit the given link to request a water test by trained professionals: https://culliganmidmissouri.com/request-a-water-analysis/