"Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Wouldn’t Remove All Lead Pipes"

"Joe Biden keeps saying “all” lead pipes will be removed."

"President Joe Biden has repeatedly bragged that the bipartisan infrastructure bill germinating in the U.S. Senate will spur the removal of America’s toxic drinking water pipes made of lead.

“It will put plumbers and pipe fitters to work replacing all of the nation’s lead water pipes, so every child and every American can turn on the faucet at home or school and drink clean water,” Biden said last week, “including in low-income communities and communities of color that have been disproportionally affected by dangerous lead pipes.”

But the bill does not require water utilities to replace lead pipes. Rather, it provides $15 billion to a revolving fund that utilities can use to replace lead pipes if they want ― something that’s only happened in a handful of cities to date.

“Unless the utilities are required to do it, we’re concerned that a lot of utilities won’t,” Erik Olson, a water policy expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council, told HuffPost.

Biden originally proposed $45 billion for removing lead pipes as part of what the White House called the American Jobs Plan, an early outline of the infrastructure bill. That sum reflected the expert consensus about how much it would cost to remove the roughly 10 million lead service lines connecting water mains to buildings around the country."

Arthur Delaney reports for HuffPost August 3, 2021.

Source: HuffPost, 08/04/2021