ROLLING MEADOWS, ILL. — Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) and its members successfully urged congressional leaders to expedite the passage of "The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act" (S. 3874).

The law provides for a 36-month implementation period, after which time manufacturers and importers will be required to comply with the new, consistent standard. This uniformly reduces the lead standard for pipes, pipe fittings, and plumbing fittings from as much as 8 percent to 1/4 percent across the nation, which is consistent with the current laws in California, Vermont, and Maryland.

"It is an exciting victory, primarily for consumers and also for the plumbing manufacturing industry, as well as for wholesalers, retailers, contractors, and others involved with the production, distribution, sales, and installation of these products," said PMI Executive Director Barbara C. Higgens.

PMI and its members have devoted several years to nurturing relationships, educating decision makers, and advocating for dramatically lowering 1/4-percent standard for lead in the Safe Drinking Water Act. Higgens added: "At times, the effort has been challenging. The victory exemplifies the purpose and value of our association as we tapped into the strengths of our members. Their focus and efforts under the leadership of our Washington office were outstanding. The effort reinforces our commitment to protecting the future of our national and local water supply through water-efficient plumbing products and practices that provide clean, safe drinking water."

PMI’s work with the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee spurred the introduction and approval of "The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act." This included previously approved language from the "Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2010" (AQUA – H.R. 5320), but as a standalone bill that imposed no cost to the federal government.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), and other bipartisan representatives sponsored "The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act." The U.S. Senate approved it on a voice vote. Prior to the final adjournment of the 111th Congress, the U.S. Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent, followed by the House of Representatives approving the bill on a 226-109 vote.

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