Statement: House approves $22.5 billion to replace lead pipes

Environment America, U.S. PIRG hail historic move to get the lead out
For Immediate Release.

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $22.5 billion over five years to replace lead service lines, which are the single worst source of lead contamination in drinking water. The funding measure, one of the few amendments to the House infrastructure package (H.R. 2) that received a standalone vote, passed 240-181 with bipartisan support.

Reps. Elissa Slotkin (MI), Dan Kildee (MI), Rashida Tlaib (MI), David Cicilline (RI) and Gwen Moore (WI) co-sponsored the amendment.

John Rumpler, Clean Water Program director for Environment America, and Danielle Melgar, U.S. PIRG’s Make It Toxic-Free Campaign advocate, made the following statement:

“Congress has taken the single greatest step we’ve seen this century to reverse the pervasive lead contamination that continues to plague our drinking water.

“We’ve long known that lead is a potent neurotoxin that is especially damaging to our childrens’ health. Yet it’s still getting into the drinking water in thousands of communities across America, including at our schools and child care centers.

“Lead service lines are the chief culprit in this contamination. There are still 9.3 million of these toxic pipes connecting our homes to water mains, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent estimate. With advocacy groups calling for the replacement of all lead service lines within 10 years, the $22.5 billion in Amendment No. 95 would fund the first half of that effort over five years. Environment America and U.S. PIRG especially thank Reps. Slotkin, Kildee, Tlaib, Cicilline and Moore for sponsoring this crucial measure to get the lead out.

“We urge the Senate to adopt this ambitious measure so we can ensure safe drinking water for all Americans.”