Kansas Attorney General Leads Opposition Against EPA’s Lead Pipe Replacement Regulation

By Trish Svoboda

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach led a coalition of state attorneys general opposing an Environmental Protection Agency regulation mandating the replacement of over 9 million lead pipes nationwide. The proposed rule could potentially cost individual homeowners thousands of dollars in expenses.

The coalition of multiple states opposes the EPA’s “National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Lead and Copper” due to concerns that the regulations would raise utility expenses for all consumers. Additionally, private homeowners would have to cover the costs of replacing their own lines if they contain lead and are connected to a city line.

According to the attorneys general, the removal and replacement of the pipes are projected to exceed $60 billion, while Congress has only allocated $15 billion for the endeavor. The EPA estimates an average cost of $4,700 per line needing replacement, with individual expenses ranging between $1,200 and $12,300 per line. As stated in a joint letter, the removal and replacement of pipes will not achieve the EPA’s intended objective of eradicating lead contaminants.

“It sets an almost impossible timeline, will cost billions and will infringe on the rights of the States and their residents – all for benefits that may be entirely speculative,” the joint letter reads.

However, the attorneys general express more than just financial concerns. The joint letter cautions that the EPA lacks the authority to implement regulations deemed “arbitrary and capricious.”

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional