[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 17, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4805-4825]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-00743]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 141 and 143

[EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0680; FRL-9958-23-OW]
RIN 2040-AF55


Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder and Flux for 
Drinking Water

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to make 
conforming changes to existing drinking water regulations based on the 
Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act of 2011 (RLDWA) and the 
Community Fire Safety Act of 2013 (CFSA). Section 1417 of the Safe 
Drinking Water Act (SDWA) prohibits the use and introduction into 
commerce of certain plumbing products that are not lead free. The RLDWA 
revised the definition of lead free to lower the allowable maximum lead 
content from 8.0 percent to a weighted average of 0.25 percent of the 
wetted surfaces of plumbing products and established a statutory method 
for calculating lead content. In addition, the RLDWA created exemptions 
from the lead free requirements for plumbing products that are used 
exclusively for nonpotable services as well as for other specified 
products. The CFSA further amended section 1417 to exempt fire hydrants 
from these requirements.
    EPA proposes to establish new requirements to assure that 
individuals purchasing, installing or inspecting potable water systems 
can identify lead free plumbing materials. Specifically, EPA proposes 
to establish labeling requirements to differentiate plumbing products 
that meet the lead free requirements from those that are exempt from 
the lead free requirements and to require manufacturers to certify 
compliance with the lead free requirements. These proposed requirements 
would reduce inadvertent use of non-lead free plumbing products in 
potable use applications and, consequently, reduce exposure to lead in 
drinking water and associated adverse health effects.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 17, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
2015-0680, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA 
may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit 
electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be 
accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the 
official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish 
to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents 
located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or 
other file sharing system).
    For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment 
policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general 
guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Russ Perkinson, telephone number: 
202-564-4901; email address: perkinson.russ@epa.gov, Office of Ground 
Water and Drinking Water, Standards and Risk

[[Page 4806]]

Management Division (4607), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Abbreviations and Acronyms

AFS--American Foundries Society
ANSI--American National Standards Institute
CFSA--Community Fire Safety Act of 2013
CFR--Code of Federal Regulations
FAQs--Frequently Asked Questions
O&M--Operations and Maintenance
NAICS--North American Industry Classification System
NSF--NSF International
PMI--Plumbing Manufacturers International
RFA--Regulatory Flexibility Act
RLDWA--Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act of 2011
SDWA--Safe Drinking Water Act
SIC--Standard Industrial Classification
UL--Underwriters Laboratories

Table of Contents

I. General Information
    A. Does this action apply to me?
    B. What action is EPA taking?
    C. What is EPA's authority for taking this action?
    D. What are the costs and benefits of this action?
II. Background
III. Summary of Data Used
    A. Characterization of the Affected Industry
    B. Determining Baseline Industry Practices and Potential Costs 
of Compliance
IV. Proposed Regulatory Provisions
    A. Scope/Applicability of Proposed Rule
    B. Labeling of Potable Use Products
    C. Exempt Products
    D. Product Certification
    E. Other Regulatory Requirements and Clarifications
    F. Implementation
V. Costs
    A. Initial Administrative and Initial Implementation Costs
    B. Labeling Potable Use Products
    C. Labeling Products Eligible for the ``Used Exclusively'' 
Exemption
    D. Product Certification
    E. Response to EPA Data Request Costs
    F. Other Regulatory Requirements and Clarifications
VI. Economic Impacts Analysis
    A. Annualized Social Costs Estimates
    B. Economic Impacts--Cost-to-Revenue Analysis
VII. Benefits
VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders Reviews
IX. References

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    The statutory prohibitions on use and introduction into commerce of 
certain products that are not lead free codified by this rule apply to 
``any person'' as defined in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This 
rule implementing those provisions applies to any person who would 
introduce plumbing products into commerce, such as manufacturers, 
importers, wholesalers, distributors, re-sellers, retailers, and to any 
person who would use plumbing products in a public water system or in a 
residential or non-residential facility providing water for human 
consumption. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this 
action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

B. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing this regulation to codify revisions to the SDWA 
prohibition on use and introduction into commerce of certain products 
that are not lead free (hereafter termed the SDWA lead prohibitions) as 
enacted in the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act of 2011 (RLDWA) 
and the Community Fire Safety Act of 2013 (CFSA). EPA is also proposing 
requirements to certify and label plumbing products introduced into 
commerce to assure they are lead free.
    SDWA 1417(a)(1) prohibits the ``use of any pipe, any pipe or 
plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux in the 
installation or repair of any public water system; or any plumbing in a 
residential or non-residential facility providing water for human 
consumption, that is not lead free'' as defined in section 1417(d). 
Section 1417(a)(3) provides that ``it shall be unlawful (A) for any 
person to introduce into commerce any pipe, or any pipe or plumbing 
fitting or fixture, that is not lead free, except for a pipe that is 
used in manufacturing or industrial processing; (B) for any person 
engaged in the business of selling plumbing supplies, except 
manufacturers, to sell solder or flux that is not lead free; or (C) for 
any person to introduce into commerce any solder or flux that is not 
lead free unless the solder or flux bears a prominent label stating 
that it is illegal to use the solder or flux in the installation or 
repair of any plumbing providing water for human consumption.''
    The 2011 RLDWA revised section 1417 to redefine lead free in SDWA 
section 1417(d) to lower the maximum lead content from 8.0 percent to a 
weighted average of 0.25 percent of the wetted surfaces of plumbing 
products; established a statutory method for the calculation of lead 
content; and eliminated the requirement that lead free products be in 
compliance with voluntary standards established in accordance with SDWA 
1417(e) for leaching of lead from new plumbing fittings and fixtures. 
In addition, the RLDWA created exemptions in SDWA section 1417(a)(4) 
from the prohibitions on the use or introduction into commerce for 
``pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, or fixtures, including 
backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services 
such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor 
watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be 
used for human consumption'' (SDWA 1417(a)(4)(A)), as well as for 
``toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub 
fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main 
gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.'' (SDWA 
1417(a)(4)(B)). The CFSA further amended section 1417 to exempt fire 
hydrants.
    In addition to codifying the revised requirements under RLDWA and 
CFSA, EPA is proposing product certification requirements and data 
gathering authorities to ensure consistent implementation and 
enforcement of the SDWA lead prohibition, as well as new labeling 
requirements to assure that individuals purchasing, installing or 
inspecting potable water systems can identify lead free plumbing 
materials. Specifically, EPA proposes to establish labeling 
requirements to differentiate plumbing products that meet the lead free 
requirements from those that are exempt from the lead free requirements 
and to require manufacturers to certify compliance with the lead free 
requirements. These proposed requirements would reduce inadvertent use 
of non-lead free plumbing products in potable use applications and, 
consequently, reduce exposure to lead in drinking water and associated 
adverse health effects.
    The goals of these proposed regulatory provisions are to limit 
accidental lead exposure by clearly identifying those products to be 
used or not used for potable services; and to ensure that plumbing 
products that are identified as lead free for use in potable services 
meet the requirements of the SDWA lead prohibition.

C. What is EPA's authority for taking this action?

    EPA's authority for this proposed rule is sections 1417, 1445 and 
1450 of the SDWA, 42 U.S.C. 300j-6, 300j-4, and 300j-9. SDWA section 
1417 authorizes the EPA Administrator to ``prescribe such regulations 
as are necessary or appropriate to carry out his/her functions under 
this subchapter.'' EPA's current regulations (40 CFR 141.43) codify 
parts of section 1417 of the SDWA, but they do not reflect the current 
version of section 1417, as

[[Page 4807]]

amended by the RLDWA and the CFSA. This proposed rule would amend those 
regulations to reflect the current law. In addition, because the RLDWA 
created exemptions from the use prohibition in section 1417(a)(1) and 
the introduction into commerce prohibition in section 1417(a)(3), EPA 
proposes additional regulations to aid in the implementation and 
enforcement of these prohibitions.

D. What are the costs and benefits of this action?

    EPA conducted an incremental compliance cost analysis of this 
proposed rule. For detail on the cost analysis see sections V and VI of 
this notice. The Technical Support Document (USEPA, 2016) prepared for 
this proposed rule and available in the docket for this proposed rule 
contains the detailed description of the cost assessment. EPA did not 
conduct a quantified and monetized benefits analysis, but a qualitative 
discussion of the benefits attributable to this rule can be found in 
section VII and in the Technical Support Document.
    Total annualized costs for the proposed rule range from $12 million 
discounted at three percent to $18 million discounted at seven percent. 
These costs include administrative requirement costs, the cost to 
potable use product manufacturers for both labeling on the product and 
on the product's packaging, the cost to manufacturers employing the 
``used exclusively'' exemption for package labeling indicating non-
potable uses, third party and self-certification costs and the costs of 
responding to EPA data requests.
    The proposed rule would reduce inadvertent use of non-lead free 
plumbing products in potable use applications and, as a result, would 
reduce exposure to lead in drinking water. The benefits of this 
proposed rule would be the resulting incremental reduction in the 
adverse health effects of low doses of lead, which include adverse 
neurological, cardiovascular, renal, reproductive, developmental, 
immunological and carcinogenic effects.

II. Background

    Lead can be introduced into drinking water by corrosion of plumbing 
products (pipes, pipe and plumbing fittings and fixtures, solder, and 
flux). Lead exposure causes damage to the brain and kidneys, and can 
interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to 
all parts of the body. The greatest risk associated with lead exposure 
is to infants, young children and pregnant women. Scientists have 
linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children.
    In 1986, Congress amended the SDWA to prohibit the use of pipes, 
solder or flux that are not ``lead free'' in public water systems or 
plumbing in facilities providing water for human consumption. At the 
time, lead free was defined as solder and flux with no more than 0.2 
percent lead and pipes with no more than 8.0 percent lead.
    In 1996, Congress further amended the SDWA to prohibit the use of 
pipe and plumbing fittings and fixtures that are not lead free in the 
installation and repair of any public water system or plumbing in a 
facility providing water for human consumption. The 1996 amendments 
also required lead free plumbing fittings and fixtures (endpoint 
devices) to be in compliance with a lead leaching standard established 
in accordance with section 1417(e).
    The 1996 amendments also made it unlawful for any person to 
introduce into commerce any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting, or fixture 
that is not lead free, except for a pipe that is used in manufacturing 
or industrial processing. As amended in 1996, SDWA section 
1417(a)(3)(B) prohibits ``any person engaged in the business of selling 
plumbing supplies, except manufacturers, to sell solder or flux that is 
not lead free,'' and SDWA section 1417(a)(3)(C) makes it unlawful ``for 
any person to introduce into commerce any solder or flux that is not 
lead free unless the solder or flux bears a prominent label stating 
that it is illegal to use the solder or flux in the installation or 
repair of any plumbing of water for human consumption.''
    In 2011, Congress enacted the RLDWA. It revised the definition of 
lead free by lowering the allowable maximum lead content from 8.0 
percent to a weighted average of 0.25 percent of the wetted surfaces of 
plumbing products. It also revised the definition of lead free to 
include a statutory method for the calculation of lead content, and 
eliminated the requirement that lead free products be in compliance 
with standards established in accordance with SDWA section 1417(e) for 
leaching of lead from new plumbing fittings and fixtures.
    The 2011 RLDWA also established two types of exemptions from the 
section 1417 prohibitions on the use or introduction into commerce of 
pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures, solder or flux not 
meeting the statutory definition of lead free. One exemption is for 
pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures, including backflow 
preventers, that are used exclusively for non-potable services, such as 
manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or 
any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human 
consumption (SDWA 1417(a)(4)(A)). A second exemption was established 
for toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub 
fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main 
gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger (SDWA 
1417(a)(4)(B)). The RLDWA established a prospective effective date of 
January 4, 2014, which provided a three-year timeframe for affected 
parties to transition to the new requirements. The CFSA further amended 
SDWA section 1417 to exempt fire hydrants from the prohibitions 
otherwise applicable under that section.
    In anticipation of these changes taking effect, EPA provided a 
summary of the requirements of the lead ban provisions in SDWA section 
1417 and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the 
amendments to assist manufacturers, retailers, plumbers and consumers 
in understanding the changes to the law (USEPA, 2013a). In this FAQ 
document, EPA stated its intention to further evaluate and refine the 
issues raised in the FAQ in a future rulemaking.

III. Summary of Data Used

A. Characterization of the Affected Industry

    A number of data sources were used in the characterization of the 
plumbing manufacturing industry. GMP Research, Inc., provided a report 
to EPA in 2014, which included data on the total number of both potable 
and non-potable plumbing products sold in 2013, distributed across 40 
product subcategories, and the market share of the leading suppliers by 
each product subcategory that may be subject to EPA's proposed rule. 
These data were supplemented with information from a number of 
additional sources. Dun & Bradstreet data were obtained for those firms 
that were identified by North American Industry Classification System 
(NAICS) and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code 
classifications as potentially producing plumbing products that would 
be affected by the proposed rule. Additional data for plumbing 
manufacturers and fabricators were obtained from ThomasNet, a 
comprehensive online database that provides information on 
manufacturing firms in the United States. EPA also used NSF 
International's Certified Drinking Water System Components database, 
which provides a list of manufacturers who use NSF to certify

[[Page 4808]]

their products to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, including the subset of 
products that are certified to Annex G of that standard. Additional 
information was gathered from the Plumbing Manufacturers International 
(PMI) Web site, a plumbing industry trade association. EPA used data on 
the number of employees and annual receipts for firms from the U.S. 
Census Bureau's Statistics of U.S. Businesses.
    Information used in the development of industry production growth 
was obtained from both the GMP Research, Inc., report and projections 
on United States housing growth from IHS Global Insight. The Technical 
Support Document (USEPA, 2016) contains more information and data 
sources used and is available in the docket.

B. Determining Baseline Industry Practices and Potential Costs of 
Compliance

    EPA conducted calls with representatives of both the PMI and the 
American Foundries Society (AFS) industry associations and held a 
stakeholder webinar in 2015 in order to obtain information on current 
practice within the plumbing parts manufacturing industry, in regard to 
labeling of product packages, marking of the plumbing products 
themselves, and the technical feasibility and costs associated with 
making changes to product labeling and marking. Additionally, the two 
industry associations provided information to EPA on product 
identification methods, including the estimated percentage of products 
that currently include lead free identification and general cost 
information for modifications to package labeling and product marking. 
Information on the feasibility and time requirements for changing 
production molds in response to potential regulatory requirements was 
also discussed, along with plumbing product inventory turnover rates. 
The trade associations also provided information on the use and costs 
of third party certification in the industry.
    In addition, data were obtained from a number of independent 
geographically diverse tool and dye firms on the cost of mold 
modifications. EPA also contacted suppliers to obtain capital equipment 
and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs to allow the Agency to 
estimate the economic impact of potential new labeling requirements 
under the proposed rule. EPA also contacted the eight firms currently 
accredited to certify plumbing components for compliance with NSF/ANSI 
Standard 372, for information on the cost of certification and the 
technical process for testing and certifying products as meeting the 
standard.

IV. Proposed Regulatory Provisions

A. Scope/Applicability of Proposed Rule

    The statutory prohibition on the use or introduction into commerce 
of pipes, pipe and plumbing fittings, fixtures, solder and flux that 
are not lead free, and the corresponding requirements described in this 
proposal would apply to any person. ``Person'' is defined under the 
SDWA to include individuals; corporations; companies; associations; 
partnerships; municipalities; or state, federal or tribal agencies. The 
statutory ban on selling solder and flux that is not lead free applies 
only to ``any person engaged in the business of selling plumbing 
supplies.'' The use prohibition applies only to use in the 
``installation or repair'' of any public water system or any plumbing 
in a residential or nonresidential facility or location that provides 
water for human consumption.
    EPA solicits comments on all aspects of the proposed approach set 
forth in this notice. EPA specifically solicits comments, information 
and data on the following topics:
    1. In order to clarify the requirements, set forth in the RLDWA and 
this proposal, EPA defined terms, such as ``pipes,'' ``fittings,'' 
``fixtures,'' ``solder,'' ``flux'' and several subcategories of these 
components, which are terms used in the statute, but are not defined 
within section 1417 of the SDWA. EPA included these and other 
definitions to provide clarity to provisions of the proposed rule. EPA 
requests comment concerning the appropriateness of these definitions 
and any additional terms that should be defined, specifically terms 
describing exempt products included in section 1417(a)(4)(B) of the 
SDWA (e.g., water distribution main gate valve).
    2. Section 1461 of the SDWA defines lead free with respect to 
drinking water coolers to mean that ``each part or component of the 
cooler which may come into contact with drinking water contains no more 
than 8 percent lead'' except that any solder, flux or storage tank 
interior surface may not contain more than 0.2 percent lead. SDWA 
section 1461(2) also authorizes the Administrator to establish more 
stringent requirements for treating any part or component of a drinking 
water cooler as lead free ``whenever he determines that any such part 
may constitute an important source of lead in drinking water.'' A 
drinking water cooler is also a ``fixture'' under section 1417 of the 
SDWA; and, therefore, subject to the definition of lead free in section 
1417. To give effect to both provisions, in practice, drinking water 
coolers would need to comply with the most restrictive of the 
requirements in sections 1417 and 1461 of the SDWA. For clarity, EPA 
could consider addressing the requirements of section 1461 in the final 
rule by inserting language such as: ``In addition to the definitions of 
``lead-free'' in Sec.  143.12(a)(1) and (2), no drinking water cooler 
which contains any solder, flux, or storage tank interior surface which 
may come into contact with drinking water is lead free if the solder, 
flux, or storage tank interior surface contains more than 0.2 percent 
lead. Drinking water coolers must be manufactured such that each 
individual part or component that may come in contact with drinking 
water shall not contain more than 8 percent lead while still meeting 
the maximum 0.25 percent weighted average lead content of the wetted 
surfaces of the entire product.'' Should EPA consider adding such a 
provision to the rule?
    3. The regulatory modifications in this proposal are designed, in 
part, to make the requirements set forth in section 1417 of the SDWA 
clearer and easier to implement and enforce in a consistent manner. Are 
additional clarifications needed to improve the regulation? If so, what 
specific clarifications are needed?

B. Labeling Potable Use Products

    EPA evaluated several options concerning labeling of products that 
comply with the definition of lead free, including a requirement to 
label a product's packaging, physically marking a product, or a 
combination of both. EPA found that many manufacturers already utilize 
a combination of package and product labeling to inform product users 
that the products comply with the RLDWA and several similar state laws. 
In an effort to reduce consumer confusion and establish a consistent 
labeling scheme for these products, EPA proposes to require that all 
lead free products be labeled on the package, container or tag, as well 
as marked directly on the product, unless the product is too small for 
a legible marking (in a type approximately 8 point to 14 point 
depending on the method of marking and roughness of product surface). 
Direct product marking to indicate lead free status will assist 
building inspectors in verifying that installations are in compliance 
with plumbing codes and allow for identification of products if they 
become separated from packaging prior to installation. Separation from

[[Page 4809]]

packaging is likely to occur when used products are salvaged and sold 
or reused. After a product has been installed, a marking on the product 
itself will aid inspectors in identifying products that are lead free. 
In the long term, product marking to indicate lead free status will 
help the metals recycling industry segregate scrap materials that may 
be used to produce future products with low lead content.
    This proposal provides that products that are too small to be 
marked on the product would be exempt from product marking, but would 
still need to comply with package, container or tag labeling. Also, 
when marking a product directly, the manufacturer should, to the extent 
practical, locate the marking in an area where it would be visible 
after installation. For those products where visual aesthetics is a 
factor in marketing and selling the product, the manufacturer may 
locate the marking in a manner that will not negatively impact the 
design.
    EPA is not proposing a specific phrase be required on products or 
packages, but rather a performance standard that the phrase clearly 
conveys to users that the product is in compliance with the lead free 
requirements of the SDWA. The proposed regulation would include these 
examples of acceptable phrases for packaging: ``This product conforms 
to the lead free requirements of the SDWA,'' or ``Lead Free.'' Examples 
of acceptable product markings include: ``Lead Free,'' ``LF,'' or 
appropriate third party certification markings such as NSF/ANSI 372.
    The requirements EPA proposes for lead free products will ensure 
that purchasers of plumbing products do not inadvertently use products 
that are not lead free, or re-introduce them into commerce for potable 
applications (e.g., in the case of a distributor, wholesale supplier, 
retailer). In addition to the package and product labeling requirement 
set forth in this proposal, EPA also considered requiring that either 
the product be marked or the package be labeled, but not both. While 
this option would decrease the costs and burden on the manufacturer 
responsible for labeling and marking, EPA is concerned that this option 
may not provide consumers and others (such as building inspectors) with 
the information needed to determine that a product is lead free after 
its initial purchase and installation. If a product is removed from its 
packaging and stored prior to installation, or if a regulatory body is 
looking for confirmation after installation that the product meets the 
lead free requirements, the package labeling would likely be 
insufficient. Similarly, labeling of a product that is sold in an 
unlabeled package could also lead to the inadvertent installation of 
products that did not meet the new definition of lead free for potable 
purposes. For those reasons, labels on both the package and product are 
more appropriate (unless the product is too small for a label).
    EPA solicits comments on all aspects of the proposed approach set 
forth above. In addition, EPA specifically solicits comments, 
information and data on the following topics:
    1. Whether the rule should require the specific phrase ``lead 
free'' on package labeling and product markings rather than allowing 
some discretion in the use of phrases.
    2. Whether an alternative specific phrase should be required for 
product and package labeling and, if so, what phrase.
    3. If a specific phrase such as ``lead free'' were required, what 
period of time should be allowed for a transition period to enable 
manufacturers to modify their product and packaging to incorporate such 
phrase?
    4. If products were required to use a specific phrase such as 
``lead free,'' whether that specific phrase should be required on both 
the package label and product marking or whether an abbreviated message 
should instead be allowed on the product.
    5. Whether the rule should allow for either package labeling or 
product marking rather than package labeling and product marking.
    6. Whether the rule should require any package labeling or product 
marking.

C. Exempt Products

    As a result of the exemptions created by the RLDWA, there will be 
plumbing products in the marketplace that are not required to meet the 
definition of lead free in section 1417(d) of the SDWA. Therefore, 
without appropriate labeling, there is a risk that non-lead free 
products will be inadvertently used in potable water applications or 
re-introduced into commerce for potable applications. There are several 
points along the distribution chain where EPA anticipates a non-lead 
free product could be mistakenly identified as a lead free product, 
including the initial sale of the product and at the time of 
installation.
    Prior to the RLDWA, all plumbing devices were required to contain 
less than 8.0 percent lead, and certain endpoint devices (e.g., 
faucets) were required to meet additional standards for lead leaching. 
The exemptions created in the RLDWA allow for certain pipes, fittings 
and fixtures to be sold with no limit to the amount of lead they 
contain.
    One of the exemptions allows the use and introduction into commerce 
of pipes, fittings and fixtures that are used exclusively for 
nonpotable services. EPA has determined that a plumbing product that is 
physically incompatible with potable drinking water systems, rendering 
it impossible to be used for potable service, qualifies for this 
exemption.
    In addition, EPA also proposes a second option for manufacturers to 
demonstrate that their product is ``used exclusively'' for nonpotable 
services and therefore eligible for this exemption (hereafter referred 
to in this notice as the ``used exclusively'' exemption). As EPA 
explained in the RLDWA FAQs, EPA would generally consider pipes, 
fittings or fixtures to be used exclusively for nonpotable services if 
they are marketed and sold for use in nonpotable services, and 
prominently and clearly labeled as illegal for use in potable services 
and not anticipated for use with water for human consumption. This 
proposal would codify that interpretation of this exemption by allowing 
the use of a package label (or the product marking for those products 
sold without an external package) clearly identifying the product as 
not for use with water for human consumption. A package label, combined 
with the labeling requirements for products that must meet the lead 
free requirements (i.e., package labeling and product marking described 
in section VI.B of this document and described in Sec.  143.17 of this 
proposed rule), should provide consumers with sufficient information to 
determine which plumbing products are designed for use with potable 
water systems; thus significantly reducing the likelihood of improperly 
installing a non-lead free product.
    The products specifically listed as exempt in SDWA section 
1417(a)(4)(B) would not be subject to these labeling requirements or 
any of the other requirements of this proposal. These products are 
exempt from the requirements of this proposal: Toilets, bidets, 
urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub fillers, fire hydrants, 
shower valves, service saddles or water distribution main gate valves 
that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.
    In addition to the specific plumbing devices excluded in the SDWA, 
EPA is also proposing to exclude clothes washing machines, fire 
suppression sprinklers, eyewash devices, sump pumps and emergency 
drench showers, because EPA is not aware of any potable use for these 
specific products.

[[Page 4810]]

    EPA solicits comments on all aspects of the proposed approach set 
forth above. EPA specifically solicits comments, information and data 
on the following topics:
    1. This proposal includes two methods of qualifying for the ``used 
exclusively for non-potable exemption:'' (a) the product is physically 
incompatible with potable water systems, or (b) the packaging is 
clearly labeled that it is not for use for water for human consumption. 
Are the criteria listed above appropriate for qualifying for the ``used 
exclusively'' exemption or are there different or additional criteria 
that EPA should consider?
    2. Is there any reason EPA should not extend the used exclusively 
for non-potable services exemption to plumbing products that are 
physically compatible with drinking water systems?
    3. Will labeling the packaging of pipes, fittings or fixtures as 
not for use for water for human consumption be sufficient to inform 
consumers of the appropriate use of the product?
    4. In addition to the specific plumbing devices excluded in the 
SDWA, EPA is also proposing to exclude clothes washing machines, fire 
suppression sprinklers, eyewash devices, sump pumps and emergency 
drench showers. EPA is not aware of a potable use for these devices, or 
of a potable use product that they could be confused with; and as such, 
requiring a label to qualify for the ``used exclusively'' exemption 
could be redundant and unnecessary for those devices. Is EPA's 
assumption about the lack of a potable use for these specific plumbing 
devices appropriate?
    5. Are there other specific plumbing devices for which there are no 
potable uses, nor a potable use product they could be confused with 
that should be added to the list of excluded products?
    6. EPA is proposing to retain the exemption for leaded joints used 
in the repair of cast iron pipes. EPA interprets the introduction into 
commerce provision as not prohibiting the sale or distribution of lead 
which may be used to form leaded joints used in the repair of cast iron 
pipes. Congress did not remove the statutory exemption for these types 
of repairs in section 1417(a)(1)(B) in either the 1996 or the 2011 
amendments to section 1417 of the SDWA. Therefore, EPA believes that 
Congress intended to continue to allow the use of leaded joints 
necessary for the repair of cast iron pipes. EPA is seeking comment on 
this interpretation of section 1417(a)(1)(B).

D. Product Certification

    EPA is proposing certification requirements for manufacturers and 
importers to demonstrate the maximum lead content of the wetted 
surfaces of their plumbing products do not exceed a weighted average of 
0.25 percent using the method for the calculation of lead content 
established in the statute by either third party certification bodies 
or self-certification. For products that are required to meet Section 
1417's lead free requirements, EPA proposes to require manufacturers 
with 100 or more employees or importers representing foreign 
manufacturers with 100 or more employees to demonstrate compliance with 
the lead free definition by obtaining third party certification by an 
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited third party 
certification body. EPA proposes to require manufacturers with fewer 
than 100 employees or importers representing foreign manufacturers with 
fewer than 100 employees to demonstrate compliance either through third 
party certification by an ANSI accredited certification body or through 
self-certification as described below.
    Third party certification is currently required for certain 
products in widely adopted model plumbing codes. The most recent 
version of the single most widely adopted model plumbing code requires 
pipe, pipe fittings, joints, values, faucets and fixture fittings used 
to supply water for drinking or cooking purposes to comply with the 
NSF/ANSI 372 standard for lead content. To meet the NSF/ANSI 372 
standard, a product must be evaluated by an ANSI accredited third party 
certification body. These are independent organizations that test a 
product, review a product's manufacturing process and determine that 
the product complies with specific standards for safety, quality, 
sustainability or performance (i.e., NSF/ANSI 372 standard for lead 
content). ANSI accredited third party certification bodies currently 
include NSF International, CSA Group, ICC Evaluation Services, 
International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Research 
& Testing (IAPMO R&T), Intertek Testing Services, Truesdail 
Laboratories, Underwriters Laboratories and Water Quality Association.
    For manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees and importers 
sourcing products from or representing foreign manufacturers with fewer 
than 100 employees, the proposed rule provides the flexibility of 
allowing these entities to demonstrate product compliance by either 
using an ANSI accredited third party certification body or by self-
certification of the products. EPA estimated that manufacturers of 
covered products having fewer than 100 employees account for 72 percent 
of the total number of such manufacturers, but only produce 5 to 18 
percent of the total volume of products. Small manufacturers that opt 
for the self-certification option would be required to develop a 
``certificate of conformity,'' also known as a declaration of 
conformity, to attest that products meet the lead free requirements. A 
similar concept is currently in use for certain products regulated by 
the Federal Communications Commission and the Consumer Products Safety 
Commission.
    For manufacturers or importers electing to self-certify products, 
the proposed rule would require the manufacturer to post the 
certificate of conformity on a Web page with continuing public access 
in the United States.
    As proposed, the certificate of conformity would be required to 
include: Contact information for the manufacturer and any importer, a 
listing of products, statements attesting that the products meet the 
lead free requirements and that the manufacturer's or importer's 
eligibility to self-certify the product is consistent with the 
regulation (i.e., manufacturer has fewer than 100 employees), a 
statement indicating how the manufacturer or importer verified 
conformance, and signatory information. The statement indicating how 
the manufacturer or importer verified conformance could be a brief 
overview of the general methodology employed, such as: Laboratory 
testing using X-Ray Fluorescence, other specific technologies, or that 
all source materials used in manufacture were confirmed to be less than 
0.25 percent lead. This proposal would require manufacturers or 
importers using self-certification to maintain sufficient documentation 
to confirm that products meet the lead free requirements.
    The proposed certification requirements will further reduce the 
likelihood that non-lead free products will either intentionally or 
inadvertently be placed into commerce or used in the repair or 
installation of any public water system or any plumbing in a facility 
providing water for human consumption. In addition, the labeling and 
the certification requirements will assist in the enforcement of the 
SDWA section 1417(a)(3) prohibition of the introduction into commerce 
of pipes, pipe or plumbing fittings or fixtures that are not lead free. 
A third party certification requirement leverages the

[[Page 4811]]

resources of the third party certifiers as well as the supply chain to 
help the market meet the requirements of RDLWA. The self-certification 
requirement, which is applicable to manufacturers with fewer than 100 
employees, while not as rigorous as a requirement to obtain third party 
certification, nonetheless provides an additional assurance that 
products sold by those smaller manufacturers are lead free.
    As an alternative to the proposed product certification 
requirements previously described, EPA considered requiring all 
manufacturers to obtain third party certification for products required 
to meet the lead free requirements. A uniform third party certification 
requirement would result in a level playing field for all manufacturers 
and would also make the marketplace consistent when a consumer is 
shopping for pipes, fittings or fixtures. EPA is not proposing this 
option because we are concerned about the economic impacts of a 
mandatory third-party certification requirement on manufacturers with 
fewer than 100 employees. Some of these manufacturers likely produce or 
fabricate small quantities of products that may be custom-made for a 
single specific use with a customer. A requirement for third party 
certification in these instances may be impractical and costly per unit 
produced. For those reasons, EPA chose the approach described in this 
proposal.
    EPA also considered the option of allowing all manufacturers the 
option of electing third party certification or self-certification for 
their various products. This option would allow maximum flexibility for 
manufacturers and would likely limit financial impacts to firms that 
currently do not get their products independently certified. EPA opted 
not to propose this approach because we found that (currently) the most 
widely used model plumbing codes require many products to be third 
party certified, and that there already exists a high level of adoption 
of third party standards in the plumbing industry. Additionally, 
requiring all but the smallest firms to certify their products using 
third party certification bodies would ensure that the vast majority of 
products sold in the marketplace are independently verified as lead 
free.
    EPA solicits comments on this aspect of the proposed rule, 
including EPA's rationale as described in this preamble. In addition, 
EPA specifically solicits comments, information and data on the 
following topics:
    1. Should third party certification be required of U.S. 
manufacturers regardless of the number of employees?
    2. Should U.S. manufacturers have the option of conducting either 
third party certification or self-certification for products they 
produce?
    3. Is there a need for some manufacturers to have a self-
certification option?
    4. Should third party certification be required of importers of 
foreign manufactured plumbing materials regardless of the number of 
employees at the foreign manufacturer?
    5. Is there a more appropriate break point (e.g., fewer than 20 
employees, fewer than 500 employees based on other categories of Census 
Bureau's Statistics of U.S. Businesses) for allowing self-
certification?
    6. Conversely, should all importers of foreign manufactured 
plumbing products be eligible for self-certification?
    7. Is the definition of importer in Sec.  143.11 of this proposed 
rule adequate to ensure compliance with the proposed requirements?
    8. Are there more appropriate criteria for requiring third party 
certification for manufacturers based on classes of products that EPA 
should evaluate, such as more complicated multi-component devices (for 
example, valves, faucets, pumps, water coolers, etc.), but allowing an 
option of self-certification for simple single component plumbing 
pieces (for example, elbow joint, gasket, pipe, etc.); or 
alternatively, based on whether a product is mass produced or custom 
fabricated?
    9. Should self-certification be allowed for all products made by 
any manufacturer if the product is composed of a single material such 
as pure copper?
    10. For self-certification, is the requirement for a ``certificate 
of conformity'' and its proposed content appropriate, or should there 
be another process for self-certification or is there other content for 
the ``certificate of conformity'' that would be more appropriate?
    11. Should any product certification be required?

E. Other Regulatory Requirements and Clarifications

1. Compliance Information Authority
    In order to effectively enforce the lead free requirements of the 
SDWA and the proposed implementing regulations, EPA needs the ability 
to obtain, if necessary on a case-by-case basis, certain compliance 
related information from manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and 
retailers and others subject to SDWA section 1417, such as information 
related to the calculation of the weighted average of wetted surfaces, 
schematics of fittings/fixtures, certification documentation, 
purchases/sales dates, and examples of lead free product and/or package 
messaging. This proposed rule contains a provision providing the EPA 
Administrator with explicit authority to request such information on a 
case-by-case basis and a requirement for entities to provide the 
information requested to the Administrator. This provision is based on 
statutory authority contained in section 1445 of the SDWA.
2. State Enforcement of Use Prohibitions
    EPA is proposing language in Sec.  143.14 to codify in regulation 
that the SDWA 1417(b) requirement for states to enforce the use 
prohibition on pipe, pipe fittings or fixtures, any solder, or any flux 
that are not lead free is a condition of receiving a full Public Water 
System Supervision grant allocation. Under SDWA 1417(b)(1), the state 
enforcement provision only applies to the use prohibition in section 
1417(a)(1); it does not apply to the introduction into commerce 
prohibition in section 1417(a)(3) of the SDWA, nor would it apply to 
the proposed requirements for labeling and certification.

F. Implementation

    The revised definition of lead free has been in effect since 
January 4, 2014, as per the RLDWA and the CFSA. EPA is proposing that 
labeling and the product certification requirements contained within 
this proposal will be in effect three years from the date the final 
regulation is published, consistent with the three-year time period 
provided under the RLDWA and CFSA. EPA is also proposing that all other 
provisions are effective 30 days after the date the final regulation is 
published, because those provisions merely codify statutory provisions 
already in effect.
    EPA solicits comments on all aspects of the proposed implementation 
period for this proposed rule. EPA specifically requests comments, 
information and data on whether three years is an appropriate timeframe 
to achieve compliance with the proposed labeling and certification 
requirements, or is a different timeframe more appropriate? Is there a 
need for a different effective date for any other provisions of the 
rule?

V. Costs

    EPA collected data from public sources and private data vendors to 
develop the estimated rule costs to plumbing manufacturing firms. 
Annual

[[Page 4812]]

production of potable use products and products eligible for the ``used 
exclusively'' exemption is 1.3 billion units and 500 million units, 
respectively. There are 2,193 firms producing plumbing products 
impacted by this proposed rule, which are spread across 14 NAICS codes. 
Table V.1 summarizes information for the segment of the industry that 
produces potable use products. Table V.2 summarizes the data for the 
segment of the industry that produces products eligible for the ``used 
exclusively'' exemption. Both tables break production into product 
subcategories and provide EPA's estimated annual production values, the 
NAICS code assigned and the number of manufacturers in the subcategory.

 Table V.1--Product Subcategories, Production, NAICS and Number of Manufacturers EPA Identified for Potable Use
                                                    Products
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Number of
        Product category                Product name         Units produced       NAICS for       manufacturers
                                                            annually  (2013)       product         for product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pipe and Fittings...............  Copper Tube (<4'' in           233,049,645            332996               213
                                   diameter).
                                  PEX Pipe (<4'' in              348,583,587            326122                27
                                   diameter).
                                  CPVC Pipe (<4'' in             148,219,048            326122                48
                                   diameter).
                                  Copper Fittings (<4'' in        93,219,858            332913               119
                                   diameter).
                                  Brass Fittings (<4'' in         80,026,241            332913               523
                                   diameter).
                                  PEX Fittings (<4'' in           99,620,061            332913                47
                                   diameter).
                                  CPVC Pipe Fittings (<4''        59,287,619            332913                63
                                   in diameter).
                                  Small and Mid-Diameter          58,257,345            326122               143
                                   PVC Pipe.
                                  PVC Pipe Fittings.......        14,927,862            332913               103
Faucets and Mixers..............  Kitchen and Bar Faucet           8,531,915            332913                74
                                   Market.
                                  Lavatory Faucet.........        18,635,258            332913                74
Kitchen Sinks and Accessories...  Kitchen Sink............         4,730,496            332999                24
                                  Sink Strainer...........        11,036,332            332999                24
Residential Water Filtration      Point-of-entry                   1,236,699            333318               713
 Products.                         Residential Water
                                   Filtration Market.
                                  Point-of-use Counter Top            72,857            333318               694
                                   Water Filtration Market.
                                  Point-of-use Under the             261,702            333318               704
                                   Sink Water Filtration
                                   Market.
                                  Point-of-use Faucet              1,707,194            333318               694
                                   Mount Water Filtration
                                   Market.
Stop Valves, Stainless Steel      Stop Valve Market.......         9,455,319            332911                23
 Braided Hoses, Inline Valves.    ........................  ................  ................  ................
                                  Stainless Steel Braided          9,424,559            333999               204
                                   Hose Market.
                                  Residential Inline Valve        30,597,771            332919               204
                                   Market.
Water Heaters and Boilers.......  Combi Boiler Market.....            55,527            333999                15
                                  Residential Gas Tankless           410,831            335228                20
                                   Water Heater Market.
                                  Residential Gas Storage          4,338,506            335228                11
                                   Water Heaters.
                                  Residential Electric             4,061,277            335228                11
                                   Storage Water Heaters.
                                  Residential Indirect               133,647            335228                10
                                   Fired Water Heater
                                   Market.
                                  Residential Electric               276,398            335228                19
                                   Tankless Water Heater
                                   Market.
                                  Residential Solar                   21,819            335228                42
                                   Storage Water Heater
                                   Market.
                                  Residential Oil Water               31,692            335228                 1
                                   Heaters.
                                  Commercial Gas Storage              89,706            335228                11
                                   Water Heater Market.
                                  Commercial Electric                 70,071            335228                15
                                   Storage Water Heater
                                   Market.
Water Coolers/Drinking Fountains/ Water Cooler/Drinking              557,244            333415                 5
 Bubblers.                         Fountain/Bubbler Market.
Household Appliances............  Refrigerators with Water         4,540,527            335222                 7
                                   Dispenser/Ice Making
                                   Machinery.
                                  Dishwasher Market.......         5,537,416            335228                 5
                                  Water Softener Market...         3,444,782            333318                98
Household & Commercial            Coffee Makers...........           234,247            333318                40
 Appliances.
Other...........................  Aerator.................        27,167,173            332913                 3
                                  Backflow preventers/                32,202            332913                11
                                   Vacuum Breakers.
                                  Gaskets/O-rings.........         5,433,435            339991                13
                                  Pumps...................         1,808,369            333911                19
                                  Water Meters/End Point           7,053,100            334514                68
                                   Meters.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibits 3-3 and 3-11 (USEPA, 2016).


   Table V.2--Product Subcategories, Production, NAICS and Number of Manufacturers EPA Identified for Products
                                 Eligible for the ``Used Exclusively'' Exemption
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Number of
        Product category                Product name         Units produced       NAICS for       manufacturers
                                                             annually (2013)       product         for product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pipe and Fittings...............  Copper Tube (<4'' in            81,033,435            332996               213
                                   diameter).
Pipe and Fittings Faucets and     PEX Pipe (<4'' in               59,116,515            326122                27
 Mixers.                           diameter).

[[Page 4813]]

 
                                  CPVC Pipe (<4'' in              39,876,190            326122                48
                                   diameter).
                                  Copper Fittings (<4'' in        32,413,374            332913               119
                                   diameter).
                                  Brass Fittings (<4'' in         27,825,836            332913               523
                                   diameter).
                                  PEX Fittings (<4'' in           16,894,630            332913                47
                                   diameter).
                                  CPVC Pipe Fittings (<4''        15,950,476            332913                63
                                   in diameter).
                                  Small and Mid-Diameter          68,389,058            326122               143
                                   PVC Pipe.
                                  PVC Pipe Fittings.......        35,048,024            332913               103
                                  Laundry Faucet..........         1,122,594            332913                72
Stop Valves, Stainless Steel      Stop Valve Market.......        62,175,887            332911                23
 Braided Hoses, Inline Valves.
Stop Valves, Stainless Steel      Stainless Steel Braided        106,928,024            333999               204
 Braided Hoses, Inline Valves,     Hose Market.                    1,122,594            332913                 3
 Other.                           Aerator.................
Other...........................  Backflow preventers/                79,265            332913                11
                                   Vacuum Breakers.
                                  Gaskets/O-rings.........           224,519            339991                13
                                  Pumps...................            21,914            333911                19
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibits 3-6 and 3-12 (USEPA, 2016).

    EPA developed cost estimates for this proposed rule along with two 
additional regulatory alternatives EPA considered in the development of 
the proposal. All three regulatory options contain estimates for 
initial administrative and implementation costs, costs to modify their 
product and/or package messaging, third party or self-certification 
costs, and response to data request costs. The three options are 
presented in Table V.3. Option B is the regulatory option selected for 
this proposal. The Technical Support Document (USEPA, 2016) provides 
more detailed information on the costing methodology and a discussion 
of the uncertainties and limitations of this assessment.

                      Table V.3--Regulatory Options
------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Option                         Option description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A..................................   Product labels and package
                                      marking for potable use products.
                                      Third party certification
                                      required for all firms.
B..................................   Product labels and package
                                      marking for potable use products.
                                      Self-certification or
                                      third party certification for <100
                                      Employees; Third party
                                      certification only for >=100
                                      Employees.
C..................................   Product labels or package
                                      marking for potable use products.
                                      Third party certification
                                      or self-certification for all
                                      firms.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Initial Administrative and Initial Implementation Costs

    The analysis for initial administrative and implementation costs 
was conducted at the level of the manufacturing firm. These costs do 
not vary by regulatory option. EPA estimated that it would take each 
firm an average of 8 hours to read and understand the rule once 
promulgated. This time estimate when multiplied by an average labor 
rate of $71.72 and the number of firms affected by the rule, 2,193, 
gives a total cost of $1.26 million.
    EPA also estimated the cost to manufacturing firms that would have 
to redesign their product and/or package messaging to include lead-
related information. To calculate the cost of package and product 
messaging redesign, EPA first estimated the total number of product 
types across 46 product subcategories. A total of 5,705 product types 
were identified. EPA estimated a percent range of firms that would be 
required to redesign their product and package in order to comply with 
this proposed rule. Firms with greater than 500 employees are estimated 
to redesign 10 percent of product and package messaging. Manufacturers 
with fewer than 500 employees are assumed to redesign between 25 and 50 
percent of their product and package messaging. Redesign was estimated 
to require 5 hours of labor multiplied by the number of products, 
giving a total costs range between $0.24 and $0.47 million.
    Table V.4 summarizes, by size category, the initial rule 
implementation annualized cost ranges. The values were discounted at 
both the 3 and 7 percent rates over the 25-year period of analysis. 
Annual total initial implementation costs range from $0.08 to $0.14 
million.

[[Page 4814]]



                             Table V.4--Rule Initial Administrative and Initial Implementation Annualized Costs, in Millions
                                                                         [2014$]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Read and understand the rule       Messaging design change       Initial rule implementation
                                                         ----------------------------------------------------------------              cost
                                                                   Discount rate                   Discount rate         -------------------------------
          Manufacturer size (no. of employees)           ----------------------------------------------------------------          Discount rate
                                                                                                                         -------------------------------
                                                                3%              7%              3%              7%              3%              7%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100....................................................          $0.051          $0.073    $0.011-0.021     $0.015-0.03    $0.061-0.072    $0.088-0.103
100-499.................................................           0.001           0.016     0.002-0.005     0.003-0.007     0.014-0.016     0.020-0.023
>=500...................................................           0.008           0.012     0.001-0.001     0.001-0.001     0.009-0.009     0.013-0.013
All Sizes...............................................            0.07           0.101     0.014-0.027      0.02-0.038     0.084-0.097     0.121-0.139
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibits 4-7a and 4-7b (USEPA, 2016).

B. Labeling Potable Use Products

    In order to estimate the potential cost of this proposed rule and 
the two alternative regulatory scenarios presented in this proposed 
rule preamble, EPA collected information on current labeling practices 
to set the regulatory baseline. EPA developed three baseline scenarios 
characterizing the proportion of firms by size category that either 
currently have lead free labeling (meeting the requirements of this 
proposed rule), have product messaging not related to lead free 
requirements, or have no product messaging. These three scenarios 
capture the uncertainty surrounding EPA's understanding of current 
industry labeling practices. Table V.5 presents preexisting labeling 
assumptions that represent the lower bound for regulatory cost 
estimates. Table V.6 shows a possible lower level baseline of product 
labeling. This table represents the upper bound for rule cost estimate. 
Across both lower and upper bound scenarios, EPA has made the 
conservative assumption that 5 percent of all firms have no messaging 
on product or package. Also common across the scenarios, is the concept 
that firms with greater numbers of employees have larger production 
totals and serve larger market areas and, therefore, will have a higher 
probability of selling in markets that already require lead content 
labeling on product and package. The upper bound scenario assumes 
manufacturers with fewer than 500 employees mark products with lead 
content messaging 50 percent of the time, while in the lower bound 
scenario, those same firms label 75 percent of products with lead 
content messaging. Also, firms in the upper bound scenario with less 
than 100 employees mark 50 percent of their packaging with lead content 
labeling. The lower bound assumes that firms with fewer than 100 
employees label 75 percent of packaging with lead content information.

                               Table V.5--Estimated Percentage of Potable Use Products With and Without Existing Messaging
                                                                      [Lower bound]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Percent with lead-content         Percent with existing         Percent with no messaging
                                                                     messaging            messaging but not lead-related   (incur total messaging costs)
                                                         --------------------------------    (incur partial messaging    -------------------------------
        Manufacturer size  (number of employees)                                                      costs)
                                                              Product         Package    --------------------------------     Product         Package
                                                                                              Product         Package
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100....................................................              75              75              20              20               5               5
100-499.................................................              75              90              20               5               5               5
>=500...................................................              90              90               5               5               5               5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-8a (USEPA, 2016).


                               Table V.6--Estimated Percentage of Potable Use Products With and Without Existing Messaging
                                                                      [Upper bound]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Percent with lead-content         Percent with existing         Percent with no messaging
                                                                     messaging            messaging but not lead-related   (incur total messaging costs)
                                                         --------------------------------    (incur partial messaging    -------------------------------
        Manufacturer size  (number of employees)                                                      costs)
                                                              Product         Package    --------------------------------     Product         Package
                                                                                              Product         Package
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100....................................................              50              50              45              45               5               5
100-499.................................................              50              90              45               5               5               5
>=500...................................................              90              90               5               5               5               5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-8b (USEPA, 2016).

    Using the assumptions on current industry messaging practices 
detailed in Tables V.5 and V.6, EPA applied its unit compliance 
technology costs for both product and package labeling in the following 
way: (1) Firms that currently have lead content messaging on both 
product and package are assumed to have no labeling costs in this 
regulatory analysis; (2) manufacturers that currently mark their 
product and/or package with some messaging (e.g., company name and 
marketing materials, a description of how the product is used, 
installation instructions or other certification and identification 
information) were assigned a partial cost to implement the requirements 
of this proposed rule; and (3) firms assumed to have no product 
labeling on package or product received full capital and O&M

[[Page 4815]]

costs as part of the regulatory assessment of costs.
    Under regulatory options requiring lead free marking on potable use 
products, EPA assigned to each of the 40 identified product 
subcategories one of three compliance technologies: Printing on product 
(e.g., copper or plastic pipe), modification of production molds and 
patterns through the use of electric diode machining (e.g., brass 
fittings), or attaching a tag with wire or another non adhesive method 
(e.g., water heaters).\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Small products like gaskets and o-rings are assumed to be 
bagged with lead free messaging.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For regulatory costing scenarios that required lead free labeling 
on product packages, EPA (again) assigned one of three compliance 
technologies to each of the 40 potable use product categories. The 
compliance technologies are printing on product box (e.g., faucets), 
printing on product bag (e.g., copper and brass fittings), or adhesive 
label (e.g., braided steel hose).\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Products that are not sold with packaging like pipe are 
assumed to comply by printing on product.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Unit capital and O&M costs for each of the six compliance 
technologies were derived with information collected from both the PMI 
and AFS trade associations and information from tool and die firms, 
product packaging vendors, and printing equipment suppliers.
    Table V.7 provides EPA's estimated total annual cost ranges for 
potable use product lead free messaging on product and/or package for 
the three options considered as part of the regulatory analysis. For 
Options A and B, costs include labeling on both the product and package 
and range from $8.69 to $13.60 million (2014$) dollars annually. For 
Option C, which gives producers the choice to label the product or 
package, EPA assumed that impacted firms would choose the lower cost 
package labeling alternative; therefore, annual costs range from $1.14 
to $1.28 million dollars.

 Table V.7--Total Annualized Present Value Costs for Lead Free Labeling
        of Potable Use Products on Product and Package, Millions
                                 [2014$]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   3% Discount rate    7% Discount rate
             Option                   in millions         in millions
                                        (2014$)             (2014$)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A: Product and package messaging         $8.69-10.34        $11.32-13.60
B: Product and package messaging          8.69-10.34         11.32-13.60
C: Product or package messaging.           1.17-1.28           1.14-1.26
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibits 4-13a and 4-13b (USEPA,
  2016).

C. Labeling of Products Eligible for the ``Used Exclusively'' Exemption

    As discussed in section IV.C, EPA has included an additional means 
of qualifying for the ``used exclusively'' exemption.
    The proposed provision to label products to establish that the 
products are ``used exclusively'' in nonpotable services provides a 
less costly option to persons introducing the product into commerce. If 
the proposed regulations limited the availability of the ``used 
exclusively'' exemption to products that are physically incompatible 
with potable water systems, then persons introducing non-potable water 
plumbing products into commerce that are physically compatible and 
capable of being connected to systems providing water for human 
consumption would be required to assure that these products meet the 
lead free requirements. Alternatively, they could or redesign their 
products to make them physical incompatible with potable water systems. 
EPA anticipates that the costs associated with designing and applying a 
label are likely to be less than the costs associated with 
reformulating the alloy and overhauling the manufacturing processes 
associated with meeting the ``lead free'' requirements. Therefore, this 
optional compliance alternative will not result in increased costs or 
burden, and will result in a cost savings for those manufacturers who 
elect to take advantage of this proposed optional exemption mechanism.
    There are six product subcategories that are both physically 
compatible with potable use applications and would meet the lead 
content limit of 0.25 percent of wetted surfaces to be considered lead 
free. In order to develop costs for this requirement EPA first 
determined the baseline current industry practices when it comes to 
labeling products eligible for the ``used exclusively'' exemption and 
their packaging. Table V.8 shows the lower bound percentage of products 
by firm size category that currently use lead content messaging, 
messaging of some kind (e.g., marks, serial numbers, installation 
instructions), and have no labeling on product or packaging. Table V.9 
details the upper bound baseline assumed percentages for labeling by 
firm size for products eligible for the ``used exclusively'' exemption.

               Table V.8--Estimated Percentage of Products Eligible for ``Used Exclusively'' Exemption With and Without Existing Messaging
                                                                      [Lower bound]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Percent with lead-related         Percent with existing         Percent with no messaging
                                                                     messaging            messaging but not lead-related   (incur total messaging costs)
                                                         --------------------------------    (incur partial messaging    -------------------------------
         Manufacturer size (number of employees)                                                      costs)
                                                            Product (%)     Package (%)  --------------------------------   Product (%)     Package (%)
                                                                                            Product (%)     Package (%)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100....................................................              50              50              45              45               5               5
100-499.................................................              75              75              20              20               5               5

[[Page 4816]]

 
>=500...................................................              75              75              20              20               5               5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-14a (USEPA, 2016).


               Table V.9--Estimated Percentage of Products Eligible for ``Used Exclusively'' Exemption With and Without Existing Messaging
                                                                      [Upper bound]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Percent with lead-related         Percent with existing         Percent with no messaging
                                                                     messaging            messaging but not lead-related   (incur total messaging costs)
                                                         --------------------------------    (incur partial messaging    -------------------------------
         Manufacturer size (number of employees)                                                      costs)
                                                            Product (%)     Package (%)  --------------------------------   Product (%)     Package (%)
                                                                                            Product (%)     Package (%)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100....................................................              25              25              70              70               5               5
100-499.................................................              50              50              45              45               5               5
>=500...................................................              50              50              45              45               5               5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-14b (USEPA, 2016).

    EPA assumed manufacturers of products eligible for the ``used 
exclusively'' exemption that currently do not have lead-related 
information on their product would use the same compliance technologies 
that would be used for the labeling of potable use products and 
packages. For labeling on the product, EPA assigned each of the 
subcategories as either the printing on product or the mold 
modification compliance technology.\3\ Also, for package compliance, 
EPA assigned the print on bag compliance technology. Under the ``used 
exclusively'' exempt package marking requirements, piping products are 
required to be printed directly on the product since they are generally 
not packaged.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Small products like gaskets and o-rings are assumed to be 
bagged with lead free messaging.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA used the same unit cost information that was developed for the 
potable use labeling requirements. Table V.10 details, by size 
category, the regulatory annual total cost ranges for labeling those 
products eligible for the ``used exclusively'' exemption not for 
potable use applications. This cost component does not vary by 
regulatory option. Annual total cost for labeling products that are not 
for potable use range from $0.14 to $0.22 million.

   Exhibit V.10--Total Annualized Present Value Costs for Lead-Related
Messaging on Products Eligible for the ``Used Exclusively'' Exemption on
                      Package or Product, Millions
                                 [2014$]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   3% Discount rate    7% Discount rate
  Manufacturer size (number of        in millions         in millions
           employees)                   (2014$)             (2014$)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100............................         $0.03-$0.03         $0.02-$0.03
100-499.........................           0.01-0.01           0.01-0.01
>=500...........................           0.11-0.17           0.10-0.16
                                 ---------------------------------------
    Total Cost..................           0.15-0.22           0.14-0.20
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-17 (USEPA, 2016), Rule
  Component All Sizes worksheet.

D. Product Certification

    In order to develop total compliance costs for third party 
certification, EPA had to determine the regulatory baseline. This 
baseline represents the current industry practice with regard to third 
party certification. EPA collected information on use of third party 
certification by plumbing manufacturers by reviewing current state laws 
requiring certification for NSF Standard 61 and 372; reviewing the 
International and Uniform Plumbing Codes; contacting the two primary 
industry trade groups, PMI and AFS; and acquiring information from 
industry third party certifiers (e.g., NSF International, CSA Group, 
UL, etc.). Based on the collected information, EPA assumed that 90 
percent of manufacturers with 100 or greater employees already use an 
accredited third party agency to certify that their products are lead 
free. As with potable use product labeling, third party certification 
costs are a major driver of

[[Page 4817]]

overall cost to manufacturers; therefore, EPA chose to develop lower 
and upper bound cost scenarios based on baseline compliance assumptions 
for firms having less than 100 employees. Fifty to 75 percent of 
plumbing manufacturers having fewer than 100 employees are assumed to 
use third party certifiers. Table V.11 summarizes the third party 
certification baseline assumptions EPA used in the development of 
regulatory costs. Under all regulatory options, certification costs 
would only be attributable to those manufacturers that do not already 
use these third party certification bodies.

  Table V.11--Estimated Percentage of Manufacturers That Do Not Already
                  Use Third Party Certification Bodies
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Percentage of manufacturers that
                                     currently do not use third party
  Manufacturer size (number of        certifying bodies and to which
           employees)                 certification costs would apply
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   Lower  bound (%)    Upper  bound (%)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100............................                  25                  50
100-499.........................                  10                  10
>=500...........................                  10                  10
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-18 (USEPA, 2016).

    Third party certifying firms usually conduct the certification 
process according to product families. For NSF/ANSI Standard 372, 
products of the same material formulation and similar configuration are 
considered one product family. Thus, certifying costs were developed on 
a product family basis. EPA estimated that each firm produces an 
average of three product families, based on an assessment of firm Web 
site data for manufacturers across all potable use product 
subcategories.
    Certification costs can be broken into initial assessment and 
testing costs and annual renewal costs. Most of the accredited third 
party certification bodies offer an annual renewal based on an audit 
process for a set number of years after the initial certification year. 
In order to derive initial and renewal certification unit costs, EPA 
contacted the eight ANSI accredited third party certification bodies to 
obtain estimated costs for certifying products to ANSI/NSF Standard 
372. The certifiers were asked to provide estimates for four 
representative product categories (faucets, fittings, valves and 
pipes), which are intended to represent the range in complexity of 
plumbing products.
    Four certification bodies provided quotes of sufficient specificity 
or comparable scope to be used in estimating initial certification 
costs. None of the firms provided quotes for all four product lines. 
Costs varied based on the product type and certifying body. EPA used 
the average of these quotes across firms and product types to derive a 
composite estimated cost of $6,000 for an initial certification of a 
single product family. Five of the eight certification bodies provided 
estimates for annually renewing the third party certification to 
Standard 372. Costs varied based on the product type and certification 
body. One of the responding certifiers requires re-certification 
annually. The other four certification bodies require renewal on a less 
frequent basis, the longest being every five years. EPA determined a 
five-year cost stream for each of the third party certifiers and 
computed a per product family average annual renewal cost of $3,200. In 
addition to the certifiers' fees, EPA assumed a $224 annualized cost 
for recordkeeping on the part of the plumbing manufacturing firms.
    Both the preferred proposed rule Option B and Option C allow for 
some firms to self-certify compliance with lead free requirements. EPA 
estimated that each manufacturer would require 40 hours of labor to 
initially develop the certificate of conformity (the requirement of the 
certificate of conformity can be found in section IV.D of this 
preamble) which certifies a product family as being compliant with the 
lead free requirements. The unit cost per product family is $1,122. The 
labor burden for the annual renewal of the self-certification per 
product family is estimated to be 16 hours. These hours are used to 
update the certificate of conformity and perform recordkeeping 
activities. This means the unit cost of annual self-recertification is 
$449 per product family.
    Table V.12 provides EPA's estimated total annual cost ranges for 
potable use product certification requirements of this proposed rule 
and other options that were considered. Unit certification costs were 
multiplied by the number of firms and average number of product 
families. Option A's cost range of $11.20 to $21.58 million reflects a 
third party certification requirement for all regulated firms. Option 
B, the proposed option, requires third party certification for firms 
with 100 or more employees and gives the option of self-certification 
to firms with fewer than 100 employees. Annual costs for Option B range 
from $2.82 to $4.31 million. The analysis of Option C assumes that all 
firms, when given the less costly self-certification choice, will opt 
for that compliance path. Therefore, the annual costs that range from 
$1.52 to $2.98 million reported here are for all firms conducting self-
certifications. EPA did not assess any cost savings to firms that would 
no longer choose to have products third party certified.

[[Page 4818]]



  Table V.12--Total Annualized Present Value Costs for Demonstration of
                    Compliance Requirements, Millions
                                 [2014$]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   3% Discount rate    7% Discount rate
             Option                   in millions         in millions
                                        (2014$)             (2014$)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A: Third party certification           $11.20-$20.90       $11.56-$21.58
 only...........................
B: Third party for >=100; Choice           2.82-4.14           2.93-4.31
 of self-certification for <100
 (Proposed Rule)................
C: Third party certification or            1.52-2.84           1.59-2.98
 self-certification.............
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibits 4-23a and 4-23b (USEPA,
  2016).
Note: Under Option C, all manufacturers are assumed to select the less
  costly choice of self-certification.

E. Response to EPA Data Request Costs

    Under all three of the proposed regulatory options, plumbing 
manufacturers will be required to respond to EPA's requests for product 
information (See section IV.E.1.a for a detailed description of the 
data request provision). EPA assumed that firms would spend an average 
of 20 hours responding to each data request, resulting in a unit cost 
of $1,434. As part of the cost assessment, EPA multiplied the per unit 
cost by 10 unique data requests per year, starting in the fourth year 
after promulgation of the final rule and continuing over the 25-year 
period of analysis. Seventy percent of requests would be to firms with 
500 or more employees, 20 percent of requests would be to firms with 
100 to 499 employees, and firms with fewer than 100 employees would 
receive the remaining 10 percent. This breakdown of requests between 
firm size categories roughly corresponds to the proportion of total 
products produced by firms in each of the size categories. Table V.13 
shows the total annualized cost of EPA data request response by firm 
size category. Total data request costs range from approximately 
$12,400 a year discounted at 3 percent to about $11,900 a year when 
discounted at 7 percent.

 Table V.13--Total Annualized Present Value Costs for Responding to Data
                          Requests, in Millions
                                 [2014$]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Manufacturer size (number of
           employees)              3% Discount rate    7% Discount rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
<100............................             $0.0012             $0.0012
100-499.........................              0.0025              0.0024
>=500...........................              0.0087              0.0083
All Sizes.......................              0.0124              0.0119
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-25 (USEPA, 2016).

VI. Economic Impacts Analysis

    EPA assessed the social costs and the projected economic impacts of 
the three regulatory options described in this proposal. This section 
provides an overview of the methodology EPA used to assess the social 
costs and the economic impacts of this proposed rule and summarizes the 
results of these analyses. The Technical Support Document (USEPA, 
2016), which is available in the docket, provides more details on these 
analyses, including discussions of uncertainties and limitations.

A. Annualized Social Costs Estimates

    EPA estimated the total annualized social costs to plumbing 
manufacturers by summing the rule's component costs, which include 
administrative requirement costs, the cost to potable use product 
manufacturers for both labeling on the product and on the product's 
packaging, the cost to manufacturers of products eligible for the 
``used exclusively'' exemption for package labeling indicating non-
compliance with lead free requirements, third party- and self-
certification costs, and the costs of responding to EPA data requests. 
EPA annualized the stream of future costs using both the 3 percent (the 
social discount rate) and 7 percent (opportunity cost of capital) 
discount rates. EPA annualized one-time costs over the period of 
analysis, 25 years. Capital and O&M costs recurring on other than an 
annual basis were annualized over a specific useful life, 
implementation, and/or event recurrence period (i.e., 10 years for mold 
modifications), using rates of 3 and 7 percent. EPA added the 
annualized capital, initial one-time costs, and the non-annual portion 
of O&M costs to annual O&M costs to derive total annualized compliance 
costs, where all costs are expressed on an equivalent constantly 
recurring annual cost basis.
    Table VI.1 presents the total annualized compliance costs of the 
regulatory options. As shown in the table, total annualized compliance 
costs range between $3 million and $36 million for Options C and A, 
respectively, with the proposed option (Option B) estimated to have 
annualized costs of $12 million to $18 million.

                Table VI.1--Total Annualized Social Costs
                            [Millions, 2014$]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Regulatory option \1\        3% Discount rate    7% Discount rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A: Label product and packaging/          $20.1-$31.6         $23.1-$35.5
 third party certification......
B: (Proposed Rule): Label                  11.8-14.8           14.5-18.3
 product and packaging/third
 party certification for
 manufacturers >=100 employees
 and third party or self-
 certification for others.......

[[Page 4819]]

 
C: Label product or packaging/               2.9-4.5             3.0-4.6
 third party or self-
 certification..................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 4-27 (USEPA, 2016).
\1\ Table includes annualized costs for rule implementation,
  certification of potable use products, lead-related messaging for
  potable use products and products eligible for the ``used
  exclusively'' exemption, and EPA requests for data.

B. Economic Impacts--Cost-to-Revenue Analysis

    To provide an assessment of the impact of the rule on plumbing 
manufacturing firms, EPA used a cost-to-revenue analysis. The cost-to-
revenue analysis compares the total annualized compliance cost of each 
regulatory option with the revenue of the impacted entities. This same 
analysis is also used under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) to 
determine if a rule has the potential to have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    In order to conduct the cost-to-revenue test, EPA developed a list 
of 2,193 manufacturers that participate in the production of specific 
types of plumbing products for both potable use and those eligible for 
the ``used exclusively'' exemption. These firms were assigned to a 
NAICS code, based on the type of plumbing product they manufacture. 
Firm size distributional information, based on number of employees, 
available from the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistics of U.S. Businesses 
for the year 2012 was then used to parse the number of entities in each 
NAICS code into a number of small business and large firm categories. 
In this way, the number of firms in each of the 14 NAICS codes having 
seven employee size categories each (e.g., 0-4, 5-9, 10-19, 20-99, 100-
499, 500+ to the Small Business Administration (SBA) small business 
threshold, and large firms above the SBA threshold) was derived. 
Computation of total average firm cost under each of the NAICS/employee 
entity size categories was developed by applying the estimated unit 
fixed and variable costs to each regulatory option. In order to 
calculate total average variable costs for each size category, unit 
variable costs must be adjusted by the units produced and firms 
producing in each of the NAICS/employee size categories. To determine 
the number of units produced per NAICS/employee size category, EPA used 
information from the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistics of U.S. 
Businesses. The Census Bureau does not provide units produced for each 
of the NAICS employee size categories, so EPA used the percent of firm 
receipts by size category as a proxy. The approximated units per size 
category were then divided by the estimated number of entities in the 
category (derivation of the number of entities per NAICS/employee size 
category was previously described) giving average units produced per 
firm. Average units per firm for each size category was multiplied by 
unit variable cost to get total variable cost for each NAICS/employees 
size category. The Census does not provide revenue values by NAICS and 
employee sizes, so EPA used data on total annual receipts (assuming 
receipts is an unbiased estimator) by NAICS/employee size categories as 
a close (although more conservative) approximation of revenue. The 
total receipts information was divided by the number of firms per 
category to approximate average revenue.
    EPA then compared the computed average annual costs to the average 
revenue for each of the NAICS/employee size categories. If average cost 
exceeded revenue by 1 percent, all firms assigned to that category were 
assumed to incur impacts. Likewise, if average annual cost exceeded 
revenue by 3 percent in a NAICS/employee size category, all entities in 
that category are assumed to be impacted at the 3 percent level. 
Impacted firms are summed across NAICS codes and employee size 
categories to assess the total impact to the industry.
    Table VI.2 summarizes the cost-to-revenue analysis results for the 
three main regulatory options. The table only shows the largest impact 
scenarios analyzed, based on upper bound compliance cost estimates, and 
using a 7 percent discount rate. For the lower bound cost and 3 percent 
discounted impact results see the Technical Support Document (USEPA, 
2016). Under Option B, which represents this proposed rule (which 
includes costs for rule implementation, potable use labeling costs for 
both package and product, labeling of products eligible for the ``used 
exclusively'' exemption that do not meet lead free requirements, third 
party certification cost for firms with 100 or more employees and third 
party or self-certification costs for firm with fewer than 100 
employees, and data request costs), EPA estimates that the vast 
majority of plumbing manufacturing firms subject to the regulations 
will incur annualized costs amounting to less than 1 percent of revenue 
(2163 firms, or 98.6 percent of the total 2,193 manufacturers). A total 
of 29 firms (2 percent of small firms) had impacts between 1 and 3 
percent of revenue, and no small manufacturers had impacts above 3 
percent, given the costs estimated for Option B. The analysis of Option 
B also found that 1 large entity (0.5 percent of large firms) had 
impacts between 1 and 3 percent of revenue, and no large firms were 
impacted at the 3 percent revenue threshold.

[[Page 4820]]



                         Table VI.2--Summary of Cost-to-Revenue Economic Impact Analysis
            [Upper bound scenario, small entities 7% discount rate, large entities 3% discount rate]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Small entities (7% discount rate)       Large entities (3% discount rate)
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Option     Option description         Count \2\          Percentage           Count \2\          Percentage
                      \1\        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Total   >=1%    >=3%    >=1%    >=3%    Total   >=1%    >=3%    >=1%    >=3%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A...........  Product and          1,976     783      27      40       1     217       1       0     0.5     0.0
               Package Costs for
               Potable Product
               or Package Costs
               for ``Used
               Exclusively''
               Exempt Product,
               3rd Party Cert
               for all
               manufacturers.
B...........  Product and          1,976      29       0       2       0     217       1       0     0.5     0.0
               Package Costs for
               Potable Product
               or Package Costs
               for ``Used
               Exclusively''
               Exempt Product,
               3rd Party Cert
               for >=100
               employees, Self
               or 3rd Party Cert
               for <100
               employees.
C...........  Product or Package   1,976       0       0     0.0     0.0     217       0       0     0.0     0.0
               Costs for Potable
               Product or
               Package Costs for
               ``Used
               Exclusively''
               Exempt Product,
               Self or 3rd Party
               Cert for all
               manufacturers.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Technical Support Document, Exhibit 6-7 (USEPA, 2016).
\1\ All options also include implementation and data request costs. For Option B, EPA assumes that manufacturers
  <100 employees choose the least cost option of self-certification. For Option C, EPA assumes all manufacturers
  pick the least cost option of self-certification. In addition, for Option C, EPA assumes manufacturers choose
  the least cost option for labeling, which is usually package labeling except when the products do not have
  packaging.
\2\ Counts of impacted entities are rounded up to 1 if they fall between 0 and 1.

    EPA solicits comments on the economic analysis for this proposed 
rule, including EPA's cost analysis and benefits assessment as 
described in this preamble and the Technical Support Document (USEPA, 
2016) for this proposed rule. Comments are most helpful when 
accompanied by specific examples or supporting data.

VII. Benefits

    EPA did not quantify the expected change in health endpoints for 
this proposed regulation. EPA assessed the health effects associated 
with reductions in lead ingestion qualitatively using two main sources: 
(1) The EPA ``Integrated Science Assessment for Lead'' (USEPA, 2013b); 
and (2) the National Toxicity Program's Monograph on Health Effects of 
Low-level Lead (USHHS, 2012).
    A wealth of information exists on the adverse health effects 
associated with lead exposure. When ingested, lead is distributed 
throughout the body and can affect many organ systems. Lead is a highly 
toxic contaminant that can cause adverse neurological, cardiovascular, 
renal, reproductive, developmental, immunological and carcinogenic 
effects. The neurological effects are particularly pronounced in 
children; however, recent studies in the public health literature have 
found that a wide spectrum of adverse health outcomes can occur in 
people of all ages. In 2013, the U.S. Burden of Diseases Collaborators 
identified lead as one of the top 15 mortality risk factors (and top 10 
cardiovascular risk factors) in the country. In addition, a level of 
lead exposure below which adverse effects do not occur has not been 
identified. This suggests that further declines in lead exposure below 
current-day levels could still yield meaningful benefits in the U.S. 
population, and the reduction in lead exposures from this proposed rule 
would result in fewer adverse health outcomes and, in turn, decrease 
societal costs of treatment. Chapter 5 of the Technical Support 
Document (USEPA, 2016) for this proposed rule contains additional 
detailed information on the potential health impacts of lead on both 
children and adults.

VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was 
therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    The information collection activities in this proposed rule have 
been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the PRA. The Information Collection Request (ICR) document 
that EPA prepared has been assigned EPA ICR No. 2563.01. You can find a 
copy of the ICR in the docket for this rule, and it is briefly 
summarized here.
    The PRA requires EPA to estimate the burden on manufacturers and 
primacy agencies of complying with the proposed rule. The information 
collected as a result of this proposed rule should allow EPA to 
determine appropriate requirements for specific manufacturers and 
evaluate compliance with the proposed rule. For the first three years 
after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, 
manufacturers will incur burden to conduct the following rule 
compliance activities:
     Obtaining certification of products from an accredited 
third party certification body to document compliance with the lead 
free requirements as set forth in the SDWA.
     Maintaining record costs associated with the initial 
certification (conducted by an accredited third party certification 
body) that potable use products meet the requirements of NSF/ANSI 
Standard 372.
     Preparing the initial certificate of conformity and 
maintaining records for potable use products that are self-certified by 
the manufacturer as being lead free.
    Respondents/affected entities: The respondents include 
manufacturers of plumbing products intended for potable use and 
manufacturers of some plumbing products eligible for the ``used 
exclusively'' exemption that are physically compatible with potable use 
products. States and local governments are not impacted by the rule. 
For the first three years after publication of the

[[Page 4821]]

final rule, EPA is not anticipated to incur any reporting or 
recordkeeping burden for implementation activities and ensuring 
compliance.
    Respondent's obligation to respond: Compliance with the final 
rulemaking regulatory requirements would be mandatory. The authority 
for these requirements comes from EPA's authority for this proposed 
rule is section 1450 of the SDWA, 42 U.S.C. 300j-9. It authorizes the 
EPA Administrator to ``prescribe such regulations as are necessary or 
appropriate to carry out his/her functions under this subchapter.''
    Estimated number of respondents: EPA estimates that 2,193 firms 
will be affected by the proposed requirements of this regulation.
    Frequency of response: The requirements of this proposed rule that 
occur once during the three year ICR period include: Obtaining initial 
third-party certification or self-certify activities to indicate that a 
product meets the lead free requirements. Ongoing costs include the 
third party annual renewal fees, and for all firms annual recordkeeping 
costs for third party or self-certification. The rule requirement to 
respond to EPA requests for information is on an ad hoc basis (however, 
this information collection is not anticipated to occur during the 
three-year period covered by this ICR).
    Total estimated burden: Total three-year burden to manufacturers is 
estimated to be 162,582 to 318,276 hours, therefore the average annual 
burden number ranges from 54,194 to 106,092 hours. EPA estimated a 
range of burden (and costs) based on a lower and upper bound estimate 
of manufacturers that already include product and/or package lead free 
messaging that comply with the proposed rule requirements, as well as 
manufacturers that currently use a third party certifying agency. 
Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).
    Total estimated cost: The total costs over the three-year period 
are between $8.5 and $12.9 million, or an average of $2.8 to $4.3 
million per year.
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.
    Submit your comments on EPA's need for this information, the 
accuracy of the provided burden estimates and any suggested methods for 
minimizing respondent burden to EPA using the docket identified at the 
beginning of this rule. You may also send your ICR-related comments to 
OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs via email to 
OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov, Attention: Desk Officer for the EPA. Since 
OMB is required to make a decision concerning the ICR between 30 and 60 
days after receipt, OMB must receive comments no later than February 
16, 2017. EPA will respond to any ICR-related comments in the final 
rule.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. The 
small entities subject to the requirements of this action are the 
manufacturing firms involved in the production of pipe, pipe or 
plumbing fitting or fixture, flux or solder, which are utilized in 
public water system or any plumbing in a residential or nonresidential 
facility or location that provides water for human consumption that 
meet the SBA's size standards for small businesses. Firms providing 
these types of plumbing products span fourteen different North American 
Industrial Classification System (NAICS) categories. The SBA small 
business definitions used in the analysis of this proposed rule vary 
across NAICS categories and range from firms with fewer than 500 
employees to firm's with fewer than 1,250 employees (See Table XII.1).

       Table VIII.1--SBA Small Entity Size Standards by NAICS Code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                SBA size
                          NAICS code                            standard
------------------------------------------------------------------------
326122.......................................................        750
332911.......................................................        750
332913.......................................................       1000
332919.......................................................        750
332996.......................................................        500
332999.......................................................        750
333318.......................................................       1000
333415.......................................................       1250
333911.......................................................        750
333999.......................................................        500
334514.......................................................        750
335222.......................................................       1250
335228.......................................................       1000
339991.......................................................        500
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA has determined that 1,976 plumbing product manufacturers out of 
2,193 plumbing product manufacturers potentially subject to this 
proposal meet the small business definitions. EPA's analysis of 
projected impacts on small entities is described in detail in section 
VII (Economic Impacts). EPA projects less than 2 percent of the 1,976 
affected small entities may experience an impact of costs exceeding 1 
percent of revenue and no small entities would incur compliance costs 
exceeding 3 percent of revenue. Details of this analysis are presented 
in Chapter 6 of the Technical Support Document, available in the 
docket, for the proposed rule.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or 
more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The proposed rule 
places no federal mandates on state, local, or tribal governments. The 
mandated annual cost to the private sector is estimated to be between 
$11.8 and $18.3 million and the highest single year nominal cost is 
$53.4 million which is below the $100 million UMRA threshold.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. It would not have substantial direct effects on 
tribal governments, on the relationship between the federal government 
and Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the federal government and Indian Tribes. This proposed rule 
contains no federal mandates for tribal governments and does not impose 
any enforceable duties on tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 
13175 does not apply to this action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health & Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those 
regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks 
that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect 
children, per the definition of ``covered regulatory action'' in 
section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to 
Executive Order 13045 because it implements specific standards 
established by Congress in statute. While the executive order does not 
apply, EPA does anticipate that the labeling requirements associated 
with

[[Page 4822]]

this proposal will limit the inadvertent use of leaded plumbing 
products, thereby reducing exposure of children to lead in drinking 
water.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is 
not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This action involves technical standards. The EPA is proposing a 
requirement that can be satisfied by, depending on the size of the 
regulated entity, either self-certifying compliance with the SDWA lead 
prohibition or by achieving a voluntary standard that mirrors the SDWA 
requirements, such as the NSF/ANSI 372 standard. While EPA is not 
specifying a technical standard under this proposed rule, EPA is 
proposing the use of technical standards that will meet the new 
definition of lead free as a means of demonstrating compliance with 
this proposal.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    EPA has determined that this action will not have 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority populations, low-income populations, or indigenous 
peoples as described in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 
1994), because this action does not establish any specific regulatory 
requirements that would affect these communities. Instead, it is a 
proposed rule that codifies existing requirements set forth by Congress 
regarding the allowable levels of lead in plumbing products, and also 
includes additional provisions intended to aid in the implementation of 
those requirements.

IX. References

USHHS, 2012. National Toxicity Program Monograph on Health Effects 
of Low-level Lead. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
June 2012. Available on the Internet at: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/ohat/lead/final/monographhealtheffectslowlevellead_newissn_508.pdf.
USEPA, 2013a. Summary of the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act 
and Frequently Asked Questions. December 2013. Available on the 
Internet at: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.cgi?Dockey=P100M5DB.txt.
USEPA, 2013b. Final Report: Integrated Science Assessment for Lead. 
EPA 600-R-10-075F. June 2013. Available on the Internet at: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/risk/recordisplay.cfm?deid=255721.
USEPA, 2016. Technical Support Document for the Proposed Rule: Use 
of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder and Flux for Drinking 
Water. EPA 815-R-16-009. December 2016.

List of Subjects

40 CFR Part 141

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Indian--lands, 
Intergovernmental relations, Radiation protection, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Water supply.

40 CFR Part 143

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Indian--lands, Water supply.

    Dated: January 4, 2017.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, EPA proposes to amend 
title 40 chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations parts 141 and 143 
as follows:

PART 141--NATIONAL PRIMARY DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 141 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 300f, 300g-1, 300g-2, 300g-3, 300g-4, 
300g-5, 300g-6, 300j-4, 300j-9, and 300j-11.

0
2. Revise the subpart heading for subpart E to read as follows:

Subpart E--Special Regulations, Including Monitoring


Sec.  141.43   [Removed]

0
3. Remove Sec.  141.43.

PART 143--NATIONAL SECONDARY DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS

0
4. The authority citation for part 143 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.

0
5. Revise the part heading for part 143 to read as follows:

PART 143--OTHER SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT REGULATIONS

0
6. Add subpart A to read as follows:

Subpart A--National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations

0
7. Redesignate Sec. Sec.  143.1 through 143.4 as subpart A.


Sec. Sec.  143.5-143.10   [Reserved]

0
8. Reserve Sec. Sec.  143.5 through 143.10.
0
9. Add subpart B to read as follows:
Subpart B--Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder and Flux 
for Drinking Water
Sec.
143.11 Definitions.
143.12 Definition of lead free and calculation methodology.
143.13 Use prohibitions.
143.14 State enforcement of use prohibitions.
143.15 Introduction into commerce prohibitions.
143.16 Exempt uses and labeling of certain exempt use products.
143.17 Required labeling of products that must meet lead free 
requirements.
143.18 Required labeling of solder and flux that is not lead free.
143.19 Required certification of products.
143.20 Compliance provisions.

Subpart B--Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder and 
Flux for Drinking Water


Sec.  143.11   Definitions.

    The following definitions apply to this subpart:
    Accredited third party certification body means those bodies that 
are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to 
provide product certification to meet the lead free requirements of not 
more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead content when used 
with respect to the wetted surfaces, consistent with section 1417 of 
the Safe Drinking Water Act and Sec.  143.12, such as certification to 
the NSF/ANSI 372 standard.
    Administrator means the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency or his or her authorized representative.
    Affiliated means a person or entity that directly or indirectly 
through one or more intermediaries, controls or is controlled by, or is 
under common control with, the person or entity specified. Affiliated 
persons or entities include, but are not limited to: A parent company 
and all wholly or partially owned subsidiaries of a parent company, or 
two or more corporations or family partnerships that have overlap in 
ownership or control.
    Alloy means a substance composed of two or more metals or of a 
metal and a nonmetal.
    Coating means a thin layer of material such as paint, epoxy, zinc 
galvanization, or other material usually applied by spraying or in 
liquid form to coat internal surfaces of pipes, fittings or fixtures.
    Drinking water cooler means any mechanical device affixed to 
drinking water supply plumbing which actively cools water for human 
consumption.

[[Page 4823]]

    Fitting means a pipe fitting or plumbing fitting.
    Fixture means a receptacle or device that is connected to a water 
supply system or discharges to a drainage system or both. Fixtures used 
for potable uses shall include, but are not limited to: (1) Drinking 
water coolers, drinking water fountains, drinking water bottle fillers, 
dishwashers; (2) plumbed in devices such as point-of-use water 
treatment devices, coffee makers, and refrigerator ice and water 
dispensers; and (3) water heaters, water pumps, and water tanks, unless 
such fixtures are not used for potable uses.
    Flux means a substance used for helping to melt or join metals such 
as by removal of oxides and other coatings or residues from the metals 
before joining by using solder or other means.
    Importer means any person who introduces into commerce any pipe, 
any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, or any solder or flux that is 
manufactured by a firm located outside of the United States.
    Introduce into commerce or introduction into commerce means the 
sale or distribution of products, or offering products for sale or 
distribution in the United States.
    Liner means a rigid lining such as a plastic or copper sleeve that 
is: (1) Sealed with a permanent barrier to exclude lead-bearing 
surfaces from water contact; and (2) of sufficient thickness and having 
physical properties necessary to prevent erosion and cracking for the 
expected useful life of the product.
    Manufacturer means a person or entity who: (1) Processes or makes a 
product; or (2) has products processed or made under a contractual 
arrangement for distribution using their brand name or trademark.
    Nonpotable services means all uses of water that are not potable 
uses.
    Person means an individual; corporation; company; association; 
partnership; municipality; or state, federal, or tribal agency 
(including officers, employees, and agents of any corporation, company, 
association, municipality, state, tribal, or federal agency).
    Pipe means a conduit or conductor, tubing or hose.
    Pipe fitting means any piece (such as a coupling, elbow, washer, or 
gasket) used for connecting pipe lengths together or to connect other 
plumbing pieces together or to change direction.
    Plumbing fitting means a plumbing component that controls the 
volume and/or directional flow of water, such as kitchen faucets, 
bathroom lavatory faucets, and valves.
    Potable uses means services or applications that provide water for 
human ingestion such as for drinking, cooking, food preparation, 
dishwashing, teeth brushing, or maintaining oral hygiene.
    Product means a pipe, fitting, fixture.
    Solder means a type of metal that is used to join metal parts such 
as sections of pipe, without melting the existing metal in the parts to 
be joined. Solder is usually sold or distributed in the form of wire 
rolls or bars.
    United States includes its commonwealths, districts, states, 
tribes, and territories.
    Water distribution main means a pipe, typically found under or 
adjacent to a roadway that supplies water to buildings via service 
lines.


Sec.  143.12   Definition of lead free and calculation methodology.

    (a) ``Lead free'' for the purposes of this subpart means:
    (1) Not containing more than 0.2 percent lead when used with 
respect to solder and flux; and
    (2) Not more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead when used 
with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing 
fittings, and fixtures.
    (b) The weighted average lead content of a pipe, pipe fitting, 
plumbing fitting, or fixture is calculated by using the following 
formula: For each wetted component, the percentage of lead in the 
component is multiplied by the ratio of the wetted surface area of that 
component to the total wetted surface area of the entire product to 
arrive at the weighted percentage of lead of the component. The 
weighted percentage of lead of each wetted component is added together, 
and the sum of these weighted percentages constitutes the weighted 
average lead content of the product. The lead content of the material 
used to produce wetted components is used to determine compliance with 
paragraph (a)(2) of this section. For lead content of materials that 
are provided as a range, the maximum content of the range must be used.
    (c) If a coating, as defined in Sec.  143.11, is applied to the 
internal surfaces of a pipe, fitting or fixture component, the maximum 
lead content of both the coating and the alloy must be used to 
calculate the lead content of the component.
    (d) If a liner, as defined in Sec.  143.11, is manufactured into a 
pipe, fitting or fixture, the maximum lead content of the liner must be 
used to calculate the lead content of the component.


Sec.  143.13   Use prohibitions.

    (a) No person may use any pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or 
fixture, any solder or any flux that is not lead free as defined in 
Sec.  143.12 in the installation or repair of:
    (1) Any public water system; or
    (2) Any plumbing in a residential or nonresidential facility 
providing water for human consumption.
    (b) Paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply to leaded joints 
necessary for the repair of cast iron pipes.


Sec.  143.14   State enforcement of use prohibitions.

    As a condition of receiving a full allotment of Public Water System 
Supervision grants under section 1443(a) of the Safe Drinking Water 
Act, states must enforce the requirements of section 1417(a)(1) of Safe 
Drinking Water Act and Sec.  143.13 through state or local plumbing 
codes, or such other means of enforcement as the state may determine to 
be appropriate.


Sec.  143.15   Introduction into commerce prohibitions.

    It shall be unlawful:
    (a) For any person to introduce into commerce any pipe, or any pipe 
or plumbing fitting or fixture, that is not lead free, except for a 
pipe that is used in manufacturing or industrial processing;
    (b) For any person engaged in the business of selling plumbing 
supplies in the United States, except manufacturers, to sell solder or 
flux that is not lead free; and
    (c) For any person to introduce into commerce any solder or flux 
that is not lead free unless the solder or flux bears a prominent label 
stating that it is illegal to use the solder or flux in the 
installation or repair of any plumbing providing water for human 
consumption.


Sec.  143.16   Exempt uses and labeling of certain exempt use products.

    The prohibitions in Sec. Sec.  143.13 and 143.15 shall not apply to 
the products listed in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section:
    (a) Pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, or fixtures, including 
backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services 
such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor 
watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be 
used for human consumption. For the purposes of this subpart, ``used 
exclusively for nonpotable services'' means:
    (1) The product is incapable of use in potable services (e.g., 
physically

[[Page 4824]]

incompatible with other products that would be needed to convey water 
for potable uses); or
    (2) The product is clearly labeled, on the product, package, 
container, or tag with a phrase such as: ``Not for use with water for 
human consumption'' or another phrase that conveys the same meaning in 
plain language.
    (b) Toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub 
fillers, shower valves, fire hydrants, service saddles, water 
distribution main gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.
    (c) Clothes washing machines, fire suppression sprinklers, eyewash 
devices, sump pumps, and emergency drench showers.


Sec.  143.17   Required labeling of products that must meet lead free 
requirements.

    (a) Persons that introduce into commerce products that must meet 
the lead free requirements of section 1417(a)(3)(A) of the Safe 
Drinking Water Act and Sec.  143.12 must label such products to 
indicate that it is in compliance with those requirements. Such 
labeling must occur by [DATE 3 YEARS AFTER PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN 
THE Federal Register] or prior to introduction into commerce, whichever 
occurs later.
    (b) Labeling or marking as specified in paragraph (a) of this 
section must be in accordance with paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), and (c) 
of this section:
    (1) Packaged, containerized or tagged products must be labeled or 
marked on the package, container, or tag with a phrase such as: 
``Conforms with the lead free requirements of the federal Safe Drinking 
Water Act,'' ``Lead Free,'' or similar terms that clearly convey to 
users that the product is in compliance with the applicable 
requirements. Products that are not packaged, containerized or tagged 
are only required to be marked consistent with requirements in 
paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Shrink wrapping of bulk products 
solely for the purpose of shipping or storage does not constitute being 
packaged, containerized, or tagged.
    (2) Products must be directly marked by physically stamping, 
forging, or printing with indelible ink, except as provided in 
(b)(2)(i) or (b)(2)(ii) of this section. The marking must clearly 
convey to consumers that the product is lead free, such as ``Lead 
Free,'' ``LF,'' or certification marks. If the marking is ``LF'' or 
another abbreviation, symbol or acronym, the product package, 
container, or tag must associate that marking with a phrase such as 
``lead free'' or ``meets lead free requirements.'' Product markings 
should be located where they are visible after product installation 
when practical.
    (i) If the product is too small for a legible marking in a type 
face ranging from approximately 8 point to 14 point depending on the 
method of marking and roughness of product surface, only a product 
package, container or tag must be labeled or marked.
    (ii) If the visible marking on installed products will adversely 
impact the visual appeal to consumers of the finished product, the 
product may be marked in a location not visible after installation.
    (c) For products certified by accredited third party certification 
bodies, labeling or marking on the product, package, container, tag or 
some combination of these locations must include:
    (1) The logo or name of the certification body as specified by the 
specific certification body; and
    (2) The specific certification body's required identifier text to 
convey lead free or low lead content.


Sec.  143.18   Required labeling of solder and flux that is not lead-
free.

    Solder and flux that is not ``lead free'' as defined in Sec.  
143.12(a)(1) must bear a prominent label stating that it is illegal to 
use the solder or flux in the installation or repair of any plumbing 
providing water for human consumption.


Sec.  143.19   Required certification of products.

    (a) Manufacturers or importers that introduce into commerce 
products that must meet the lead free requirements of section 1417 of 
the Safe Drinking Water Act and Sec.  143.12 must ensure that the 
products are certified to be in compliance as specified in paragraphs 
(b) and (c) of this section by [DATE 3 YEARS AFTER PUBLICATION OF FINAL 
RULE IN THE Federal Register] or prior to product introduction into 
commerce, whichever occurs later. Such manufacturers or importers must 
maintain documentation to substantiate the certification.
    (b) Certification of products must be obtained by manufacturers or 
importers from an accredited third party certification body, except as 
provided in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (1) Products certified by an accredited third party certification 
body must be labeled or marked as specified in Sec.  143.17(c).
    (2) The manufacturer or importers must keep records for all 
products certified by an accredited third party certification body that 
include at a minimum: Documentation of certification, dates of 
certification and expiration. This documentation must be provided upon 
request to the Administrator as specified in Sec.  143.20(b).
    (c) Manufacturers having fewer than 100 employees or importers 
sourcing products from or representing manufacturers having fewer than 
100 employees may elect to self-certify products in lieu of obtaining 
certification from an accredited third party certification body. The 
number of employees includes any persons employed by the manufacturer 
and any of its affiliated entities. The number of employees must be 
calculated by averaging the number of persons employed, regardless of 
part-time, full-time or temporary status by an entity and all of its 
affiliated entities for each pay period over the entity's latest 12 
calendar months, or averaged over the number of months in existence if 
less than 12 months. Such manufacturers or importers electing to self-
certify products must comply with paragraphs (d) through (g) of this 
section.
    (d) In order for eligible manufacturers or importers to self-
certify products, such manufacturers or importers must attest that 
products are in compliance by developing and maintaining a 
``certificate of conformity.'' The certificate of conformity must be:
    (1) Signed by a responsible corporate officer, a general partner or 
proprietor, or an authorized representative of a responsible corporate 
officer, general partner or proprietor; and
    (2) Posted to a Web page with continuing public access in the 
United States.
    (e) The certificate of conformity must be in English and include:
    (1) Contact information for the manufacturer or importer to 
include:
    (i) The entity or proprietor name,
    (ii) Street and mailing addresses,
    (iii) Phone number, and
    (iv) Email address.
    For products imported into the United States, the contact 
information must also be included for the manufacturer;
    (2) A brief listing of the products to include, when applicable, 
unique identifying information such as model names and numbers;
    (3) A statement attesting that the products meet the lead free 
requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and 40 CFR part 143, 
subpart B and also that the manufacturer or importer is eligible to 
self-certify the product consistent with this regulation;
    (4) A statement indicating how the manufacturer or importer 
verified conformance with the Safe Drinking

[[Page 4825]]

Water Act and 40 CFR part 143, subpart B; and
    (5) The signature, date, name and position of the signatory; and if 
the signatory is an authorized representative of a responsible 
corporate officer, a general partner or proprietor, the name and 
position of the responsible corporate officer, a general partner or 
proprietor.
    (f) Manufacturers or importers that self-certify products must 
maintain, at a primary place of business within the United States, 
certificates of conformity and sufficient documentation to confirm that 
products meet the lead free requirements of this subpart. Sufficient 
documentation may include: Detailed schematic drawings of the products 
indicating dimensions, calculations of the weighted average lead 
content of the product, lead content of materials used in manufacture 
and other documentation used in verifying the lead content of a 
plumbing device. This documentation and certificates of conformity must 
be provided upon request to the Administrator as specified in Sec.  
143.20(b).
    (g) The certificate of conformity and documentation must be 
completed prior to a product's introduction into commerce.


Sec.  143.20   Compliance provisions.

    (a) Noncompliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act or this subpart 
may be subject to enforcement. Enforcement actions may include seeking 
injunctive relief, civil or criminal penalties.
    (b) The Administrator may, on a case-by-case basis, request any 
information deemed necessary to determine whether a person has acted or 
is acting in compliance with section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water 
Act and this subpart. Such information requested must be provided to 
the Administrator at a time and in a format as may be reasonably 
determined by the Administrator.

[FR Doc. 2017-00743 Filed 1-13-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P