Rhode Island Legislature approves 10-year deadline to replace lead pipes

Media Contacts
John Rumpler

Clean Water Director and Senior Attorney, Environment America

boy drinking glass of water
beerphotographer | Adobe Stock

Ocean State poised to become a leader in preventing drinking water contamination

PROVIDENCE. R.I. — The Rhode Island House of Representatives voted 67-0 on Thursday to set a 10-year deadline for water utilities to fully replace lead service lines.

Lead is highly toxic and especially damaging to children, impairing how they learn, grow and behave. An estimated 29,000 drinking water service lines in Rhode Island are made of lead. These toxic pipes are the single largest source of water contamination in homes that have them.

The state Senate has already approved the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, so it now heads to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk. The governor has a week to sign or veto the bill.

In response, Lily Segal, summer associate for Environment Rhode Island, released this statement:

“By mandating full replacement of these toxic lead pipes, the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act will dramatically improve the safety of drinking water for thousands of Rhode Islanders.

“The Biden administration set a national goal of replacing all lead service lines in the next 10 years, but there is no enforceable deadline. Now, the legislature has made that goal a reality in our state.

“The passage of this bill makes Rhode Island the second state, after New Jersey, determined to ‘get the lead out’ within a decade. To ensure safer drinking water in all 50 states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should include the same deadline when it updates the federal Lead & Copper Rule in September.”

staff | TPIN

Help defend our oldest forests.

Mature forests are on the chopping block. With your support, we can stand up for the trees. Will you donate today?