File - Arizona aqueduct

Central Arizona Project (CAP), is designed to bring about 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water per year to Pima, Pinal and Maricopa Counties

(The Center Square) – The federal government will allow a Trump-era clean water regulation to go into effect following Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s July 2021 lawsuit. 

Brnovich led a coalition of five states in filing a petition challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Delay Rule, which postponed the Trump Administration’s Lead and Copper Rule Revisions. On Dec. 20, Brnovich announced the EPA would permit the LCRR, which requires community water systems to conduct testing for lead in drinking water and public education in schools and child care facilities, to take effect. 

“Ensuring safe drinking water is available in our communities should not be a controversial issue,” Brnovich said in the news release. “It is the first thing we must do to protect all of our children."

Brnovich and the attorneys general of Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, and Oklahoma argued the Delay Rule would result in “adverse health effects that exceed the reduced costs on water system operators,” and marked an “illegal attempt to kill the LCRR through serial delays, rather than following the necessary procedures for an outright repeal.” 

Brnovich said the delays damage states by causing permanent medical injuries to their residents and financial harms, including through Medicaid. 

In a Federal Register Notice, the EPA announced the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements will go into effect “to support near-term development of actions to reduce lead in drinking water.” The agency said it will develop new proposed rulemaking to strengthen key elements of the rule. It anticipates finalizing the improvements before Oct. 16, 2024.