NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to delay a “sudden mandate” that would force municipalities to replace fire hydrants after Jan. 4.
The senator is taking issue with the EPA’s interpretation of a 2011 law. He says Congress didn’t intend for hydrants to be included in the new reduced-lead drinking water standards.
Schumer says New York City would have to purchase a new stock of hydrants and hydrant parts to comply with the standards.
“Our federal EPA wants the city to throw out over $1 million of fire hydrants because they contain some lead and people might drink from them. This makes no sense whatsoever,” said Schumer at a press conference on Monday. “There are certain things that happen in Washington that make people scratch their heads and say ‘what is going on in this place?'”
The city estimates it’ll have to throw out more than 1,000 hydrants that are in storage if the rule takes effect.
Schumer maintains that in the summer, kids splashing in water from the fire hydrants does not pose a big risk.
“I don’t know a single New Yorker who goes out to their fire hydrant every morning, turns it on and brushes their teeth,” the senator added.
Schumer wants the EPA administrator to exempt fire hydrants from the no lead rule.
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