The Biden administration will deal with lead in drinking water

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Authors: Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, December 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) – In an effort to further lower lead drinking levels water, The Biden administration on Thursday announced $ 2.9 billion in bills for infrastructure to remove lead pipes and tighter lead restrictions.

The new, stricter restrictions imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are expected to be completed by 2024 and will require the replacement of the remaining lead pipes for drinking water as soon as possible, the White House said in a statement. a statement announcing the new plan.

“Over the past year, I’ve visited and heard from communities in Chicago, Flint, Jackson and many other areas affected by lead in drinking water,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan told the agency. statement. “These conversations highlighted the need to proactively remove leading service lines, especially in low-income communities. The science of lead has been established – there is no safe level of exposure and it is time to eliminate this risk to support successful people and vibrant communities.”

IN remarks made Thursday at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, DC, Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged the goal was sublime.

“The challenge we are facing is, without any question, great. Lead has been installed in our cities. It has been laid under our roads and installed in our homes,” Harris said.

Environmentalists have had mixed reactions to the ten-year plan.

“The top priority must be to demand the removal of all lead pipes within a decade and set strict water standards, which is the only way to prevent another generation of children from drinking water through what is essentially lead straw,” said Eric Olson, senior strategic Director of Health in the Council for the Defense of Natural Resources Associated Press. – Good intentions will not be enough to get the job done.

John Rumpler, a senior attorney at Environment America, said APthat the plans were “long overdue and an irreplaceable step towards ensuring safe water”. He also said the EPA should set a 10-year deadline to replace leading service lines, as New Jersey did in July.

A Trump-era rule says public water systems should replace 3% of their leading service lines each year if lead levels exceed 15 parts per billion. That rate is lower than previous 7% demands, but Trump administration officials at the time said the rule eliminated holes that allowed water systems to avoid pipe removal and would actually speed up the replacement process.

The federal government estimates that as many as 10 million homes across the country receive water through lead lines that connect buildings to the water supply. Lead from the pipe can get into the water.

Ingestion of lead can cause severe developmental and neurological problems, especially in children AP reported.

More information

Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for more information lead in drinking water.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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