Today the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) participated at a White House Summit with Vice President Kamala Harris and over 100 organizations that comprise a new Get the Lead Out Partnership. Partners represent the water sector, including several AMWA members, the federal government, states, tribes, local communities, labor unions, and the private sector.
AMWA and members of the partnership have committed to a framework of health-informed, justice-centered principles of lead service line replacement, including:
- Prioritizing lead remediation efforts in overburdened and underserved communities, which are more likely to be exposed to unsafe lead in their homes and environments;
- Exploring all available funding opportunities to ensure speedy implementation of lead service line replacement efforts; and
- Ensuring robust community engagement by promoting early and continued communication and project planning between the water utility and the public throughout the lead service line identification, planning, and replacement process, while working quickly and efficiently to mitigate lead exposure.
“AMWA members protect the health of children, families, and communities daily by providing clean and safe drinking water,” said AMWA CEO Tom Dobbins. “However, AMWA knows that harmful lead service lines disproportionately impact low-income and communities of color. AMWA will continue to work with our members, EPA, and the White House to identify and pursue ways to replace lead service lines sensibly.”
President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law in November 2021, which provides funding for lead pipe replacements. Through 2026, $15 billion in dedicated funding will flow to states and water systems to reduce the amount of lead in drinking water provided to millions of Americans in affected communities.
AMWA commends the Biden-Harris Administration for its leadership to make communities safer by leading the charge in these efforts. We look forward to continuing to engage our members, the White House, and EPA on these efforts.
We also will continue to work with Congress to ensure the passage of sound legislation like the Financing Lead Out of Water (FLOW) Act, which will help reduce administrative burdens on drinking water systems in their efforts to finance full lead service line replacements with tax-exempt bonds.
For over 40 years, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies has been the nation's unified and definitive voice for the nation's largest publicly owned drinking water systems on legislative, regulatory, security, sustainability, and utility management issues.
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