WASHINGTON -- U.S. Reps. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Henry Cuellar of Texas today introduced the Get the Lead Out Act, which sets a 10-year deadline to replace lead service lines. These lines are the single worst source of lead contamination in drinking water.
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:
“This is a historic bill. 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 schools and child care centers.
“We know the problem, and we know how to fix it. Lead service lines are a chief culprit in this contamination. An estimated 9.3 million of these toxic pipes remain in service, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent estimate.
“Now is the time to act decisively. While there are some water utilities that have made progress on their own, most are moving sluggishly, if at all, to fully replace these toxic pipes. The Get the Lead Out Act sets a clear, feasible deadline to accomplish this critical public health task, and it authorizes the federal dollars needed to get the job done.
“Environment America and U.S. PIRG especially thank Reps. Smith (NJ) and Cuellar (TX) for sponsoring this crucial measure to get the lead out. We now urge Congress to pass the Get the Lead Out Act so we can ensure safe drinking water for all Americans.”