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New Ohio Law Increases Protections From Lead Contamination in Drinking Water

On June 9, 2016, Governor John Kasich signed House Bill (HB) 512, a multifaceted law that the Governor has said “puts Ohio in front” and makes Ohio “the leader in the country” in dealing with the problem of lead contamination in drinking water.  After the crisis in Flint, Michigan sparked a national inquiry and events in Sebring, Ohio raised questions locally, the Ohio General Assembly responded with HB 512, which includes tighter deadlines for Ohio public water systems to respond and notify residents of lead in drinking water. HB 512 was introduced on April 7, 2016, quickly passed by the Ohio Legislature in May, and signed into law by the Governor. The new law becomes effective on September 8, 2016.

The new law establishes sampling, corrosion control, and individual tap action levels, more stringent public notification deadlines, higher administrative enforcement penalties, requirements for identifying and mapping lead infrastructure in public water systems, and financial assistance for communities and schools with lead in drinking water concerns. The enacted version largely mirrors the version that was introduced previously. The key provisions of the changes to Ohio law regarding lead in drinking water are summarized in the full alert: New Ohio Law Increases Protections from Lead Contamination in Drinking Water.

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About this Author

Rees Alexander, Squire Patton Boggs, Environmental Litigation Lawyer, Clean Water Act Attorney
Associate

D. Rees Alexander focuses on environmental litigation, regulatory matters and environmental issues in transactions.

A uniquely experienced litigator for someone at his career level, Rees has served as trial counsel in numerous trials and administrative hearings, primarily concerning surface water and drinking water issues. He also advises several clients in the automotive and engine manufacturing industries regarding compliance with new and existing environmental and transportation regulations. In this area, he focuses on risk management and enforcement defense with respect to Clean...

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Kendra Sherman, Squire Patton Law Firm, Environmental Compliance Attorney
Partner

Kendra’s practice encompasses all areas of environmental law. She represents a broad spectrum of clients, including metals, mining, iron and steel, and chemical companies, waste management and environmental services companies (including solid waste landfills and construction and demolition debris facilities), and public law clients, including cities and villages. Kendra defends clients in federal and state enforcement actions related to air, water quality, wetlands and solid and hazardous waste matters, and represents clients in appeals and challenges related to Clean Air Act Title V permits and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permits. Kendra has appeared before a wide range of federal and state courts and administrative tribunals in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Washington DC.

Kendra also counsels sellers, lenders, investors and developers on environmental due diligence in complex commercial and real estate transactions, including brownfields redevelopment and Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program, project siting and permitting, and impacts to jurisdictional waters, streams and isolated wetlands. She also has experience in advising clients on shale gas development in the Marcellus and Utica shale gas regions of the US.

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