On February 11, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change held a hearing on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). Testifying on behalf of NACo, Grant County, Okla. Commissioner and NACo’s Central Region Representative Cindy Bobbitt discussed the county role in providing clean and reliable drinking water to residents.
In her testimony, Commissioner Bobbitt informed members of the subcommittee that county governments are responsible for protecting local air, water and land resources. She stated, “Counties across the country share our federal partners’ concerns and are committed to doing all we can to eliminate lead contamination in all of America’s drinking water systems.” She also added that counties must also balance other responsibilities, such as operating jails, hospitals, 911 emergency systems, building and maintaining roads and bridges, and administering elections.
Commissioner Bobbitt highlighted four main points for the subcommittee’s consideration as Congress assess challenges and opportunities around eliminating lead contamination in drinking water:
- As regulators and regulated entities, county governments play a key role in providing clean drinking water and are committed to reducing lead exposure.
- Due to limited local resources and mounting federal and state mandates, counties face a challenging environment regarding long-term budget investments.
- Counties need clear, understandable and practicable federal policies to administer national water standards successfully.
- Further federal investments and early, consistent and meaningful engagement with intergovernmental partners is vital in the development and implementation of effective drinking water policies, programs and regulations.
To read Commissioner Bobbitt’s written testimony, click here.
To watch a webcast of the hearing, click here.
Counties will continue to work with Congress and other federal agency partners to develop policies that will protect the public health and safety.