The Rhode Island state senate recently approved a bill that would set a 10-year deadline for water utilities to fully replace lead service lines. Sponsored by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggiero, the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act would make RI the second state determined to “get the lead out” within a decade (following NJ).
Lead is highly toxic, especially for kids. Service lines are the pipes running from a water main into a home or other building. In Rhode Island, an estimated 29,000 of those service lines are made of lead, posing a grave risk of water contamination.
At the national level, President Biden has set a goal of replacing all these toxic pipes within a decade, but there is no enforceable deadline. The Rhode Island bill reinforces our call for U.S. EPA to set 10-year deadline when it updates the Lead & Copper Rule later this year.
Rep. William O’Brien has introduced the legislation in the state House, which must still approve the measure.