TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Another EPA crock: Fire hydrant illogic

Daily Photo Galleries

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
 

Leave it to the regulation-happy Environmental Protection Agency to cry “Fire!” over an alleged public-health risk from hydrants when manufacturers and water authorities insist there's neither flame nor smoke in the EPA's claim.

Effective Jan. 4, the EPA mandates that new fireplugs must meet stricter standards for lead content — which means that cities must either dump or retrofit their hydrant inventories with parts that don't yet exist, ultimately costing local governments millions of dollars, Bloomberg reports. Last month the EPA ruled that fire hydrants are included in the 2011 Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act since they can be used in emergency situations to provide drinking water.

The American Water Works Association, representing utilities that serve 80 percent of the country, says the cost implications are enormous with no discernible health benefits. Hydrants supply drinking water only occasionally, such as when water mains break, says the association's Tom Curtis.

Hydrants now on streets are grandfathered. But consider the dilemma facing metropolitan areas that must keep a backstock of fireplugs available for replacement. Philadelphia, for one, has 119 fire hydrants warehoused at a cost of $2,000 each. Nationwide, the cost of compliance could be a financial catastrophe.

The EPA says it's meeting with “stakeholders” to hear their concerns. Here's hoping the EPA will lend an open ear rather than apply its customary blind eye, which is what enables useless, costly diktats.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Sunoco wants to rebuild station in Greensburg
  2. 2 killed in East Huntingdon crash
  3. Police: Westmoreland women stole thousands to pay for dog show hobby
  4. Pirates expect high prices in trade market
  5. Dollar Bank says URA didn’t talk about restrictions on use of August Wilson Center
  6. Steelers hoping that youth movement breathes life into team
  7. Rostraver police warn residents to lock doors after home invasion
  8. Volkswagen crashes through convenience store in Aliquippa
  9. Blind man accused in stabbing on South Side to stand trial
  10. Marine recalls Saigon: April 30, 1975 — the day the U.S. Embassy closed
  11. Rutgers football coach says Scarlet Knights, Big Ten ‘a tremendous marriage’
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.