AMWA Statement on Passage of the “Community Fire Safety Act”

December 17, 2013

Diane VanDe Hei, Executive Director of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), released the following statement tonight following the U.S. Senate’s passage of S. 3588, the “Community Fire Safety Act”:

“Fire hydrants do not normally deliver drinking water, so EPA’s October announcement that hydrants would have to meet the same low-lead requirements as pipes and plumbing fixtures early next year came as a complete surprise. The ruling would deliver a negligible public health benefit while stranding communities across the country with millions of dollars worth of perfectly good – but noncompliant – fire hydrants. In effect, virtually all fire hydrant installations, replacements and repairs would halt nationwide on January 4.

“Fortunately, this wasteful situation will not come to pass thanks to the quick work of Congress. The ‘Community Fire Safety Act’ simply clarifies that fire hydrants are not subject to the new low-lead requirements, while allowing the rules to take effect as intended on January 4 for pipes and plumbing fixtures that regularly deliver water for human consumption.

AMWA appreciates Congress coming together to enact this common-sense legislation. AMWA especially thanks Reps. Bill Johnson and Paul Tonko, and Sens. Pat Toomey and Charles Schumer, for leading the effort to pass this measure into law.”

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies is an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water suppliers in the United States.

Dan Hartnett