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Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water Request Media Support

June 14, 2016

       

NEWS
For more information contact:
Dionna Ebeling, Mount Pleasant Waterworks 843-870-4364
Matt Brady, Charleston Water System 843-277-4478

Mount Pleasant, S.C.  - - June 14, 2016 - - Recently, local news publications and media picked up on an article published by The Guardian regarding lead testing.


The Guardian article contains a number of factual errors and attempts to make the case that many states and water systems, including both Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water System, have been “cheating” or using “tricks” in connection with compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule and knowingly endangering public health. During interviews with Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water System our representatives informed the media that many of these allegations were inaccurate and misleading in our view.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released a statement (copy attached) that lays out the various steps they’re taking, in concert with states and water systems, to improve implementation of the Lead and Copper Rule.  The statement contains the following language in the first paragraph, which we believe is critical in proving that The Guardian’s article was based on incomplete information that could create unnecessary public concern.


“A 2008 letter on pre-stagnation flushing was directed to an individual water utility and was not framed as national guidance. The Lead and Copper Rule does not prohibit practices of pre-stagnation flushing and removal of aerators, but EPA’s February 2016 memorandum reflects the agency’s recommendations on these practices”. (emphasis added)


The 2008 letter to which the excerpt refers was sent by the EPA to a single public water utility (then known as the DW Water and Sewer Authority). It was not the national guidance that The Guardian article implies. Since the Lead and Copper Rule did not prohibit pre-stagnation flushing, many states historically allowed this practice as a means to help ensure that a sample was being collected from a representative tap, in common use.  That practice was not revised by the EPA until the February 2016 guidance was issued.


The EPA may issue some additional clarifications relative to The Guardian article, and if so, we will pass those along and adjust our protocols accordingly.  In the meantime, we would like to request that our local media representatives provide the residents of the Lowcountry with this important clarifying information that proves that information published by The Guardian was less than completely factual and that both Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water System have properly performed lead testing in accordance with EPA guidance in effect at the time.


For questions or comments from EPA please contact:
Christina Wadlington
202-566-1859
Wadlington.Christina@epa.gov

Download EPA STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO GUARDIAN ARTICLE.pdf

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