Statement: House vote to fund replacing lead pipes must pass

Environment America, U.S. PIRG urge passage of H.R. 2 with Lead Service Line amendment
For Immediate Release.

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote this week on a measure that would provide $22.5 billion over five years to fund replacement of lead service lines, which are the single worst source of lead contamination in drinking water. Amendment No. 95 to the package, which is being offered by Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Rashida Tlaib, Dan Kildee, David Cicilline and Gwen Moore, would assure the funding.

The measure is one of the few amendments to the ambitious House infrastructure package (H.R. 2) that will receive a stand-alone vote on the House floor.

John Rumpler, Clean Water Program director for Environment America, and Danielle Melgar, U.S PIRG’s Toxics Program advocate, made the following statement:

“This moment represents the single greatest opportunity this century for Congress to reverse the pervasive lead contamination in our drinking water that plagues our country.

“Lead is a potent neurotoxin that is especially damaging to our childrens’ health.  Yet it’s getting into the drinking water in thousands of communities, 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.  U.S. PIRG and Environment America thank Reps. Slotkin, Kildee, Tlaib, Cicilline and Moore for their hard work on getting the lead out.

“We urge Congress to seize the opportunity and support Amendment No. 95 to protect our children’s health. It’s time to get the lead out.”