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EPA Funds Plan For Lead Pipes, Paint

On May 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $28,650,000 from President Biden’s Investing in America plan to help Montana identify and replace lead service lines, preventing exposure to lead in drinking water. Lead can cause a range of serious health impacts, including irreversible harm to brain development in children. To protect children and families, President Biden has committed to replacing every lead pipe in the country. This funding builds on the Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and EPA’s Get the Lead Out Initiative.

“EPA is dedicated to protecting the health of all Montanans by ensuring the water flowing into their taps is safe and reliable,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “Everyone deserves access to clean drinking water, and this lead service line replacement funding underscores our commitment to making that happen, especially in disadvantaged communities.”

Working collaboratively, EPA and the State Revolving Funds are advancing the President’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that 40 percent of overall benefits from certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. Lead exposure disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income families. The total funding announced through this program to date is expected to replace up to 1.7 million lead pipes nationwide, securing clean drinking water for countless families.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests a historic $15 billion to identify and replace lead service lines. The law mandates that 49 percent of funds provided through the DWSRF General Supplemental Funding and DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding must be provided as grants and forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities, a crucial investment for communities that have been underinvested in for too long.

EPA projects a national total of 9 million lead services lines across the country, based on data collected from the updated seventh Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. The funding announced today is for lead service line identification and replacement and will help every state and territory fund projects to remove lead pipes and reduce exposure to lead from drinking water.

The Lead Service Line-specific formula used to allot these funds allows states to receive financial assistance commensurate with their need as soon as possible, furthering public health protection nationwide. The formula and allotments are based on need, meaning that states with more projected lead service lines receive proportionally more funding.

Alongside the funding announced today, EPA is releasing a new memorandum that clarifies how states can use this and other funding to most effectively reduce exposure to lead in drinking water. EPA has also developed new outreach documents to help water systems educate their customers on drinking water issues, health impacts of lead exposure, service line ownership and how customers can support the identification of potential lead service lines in their homes.

To view more stories about how the unprecedented investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are transforming communities across the country, visit EPA’s Investing in America’s Water Infrastructure Story Map. To read more about some additional projects that are underway, see EPA’s recently released Quarterly Report on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funded Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF projects and explore the State Revolving Funds Public Portal.

Today’s allotments are based on EPA’s updated seventh Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. To date, this is the best available data collected and assessed on service line materials in the U.S. Later this summer, EPA will release an addendum to the seventh DWINSA Report to Congress which will include the updated lead service line projections. EPA anticipates initiating data collection, including information on lead service lines, for the eighth DWINSA in 2025.

For more information, including state-by-state allotment of 2024 funding and a breakdown of EPA’s lead Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, please visit EPA’s Drinking Water website. epa. gov/ground-water-and-drinking- water

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