Today, the Biden administration and the Environmental Protection Agency announced the launching of the “Get the Lead Out Partnership.” This initiative aims to bring together stakeholders from communities, non-governmental organizations, federal and state agencies, tribes, and others to accelerate the replacement of lead service lines. It is imperative that this effort, and other federal action, achieve the administration’s stated goal replacing all lead service lines in ten years.
The following is a statement by Julian Gonzalez, legislative counsel at Earthjustice:
“We share the White House’s stated vision of a country where no family must worry about contaminated drinking water. Access to clean water is a fundamental human right, one that has been denied to millions of people, predominantly from low-wealth communities and communities of color. This partnership is a promising step towards a safer, more just future.
“To achieve this vision, however, it is critical that EPA propose and finalize a Lead and Copper Rule Improvements regulation that is transformative, health protective, and mandates the replacement of all lead service lines in ten years, at no cost to homeowners.
“Families should not have to wonder if their water is safe or need to take on financial burdens to replace lead service lines, nor should they depend on the whims and fortunes of their landlord to get clean drinking water for their children. And as the catastrophe in Flint, Michigan taught us, families should not have to wait until after children drink lead contaminated water to get government attention. Without a protective Lead and Copper Rule, these new government partnerships with communities will be ineffective, and families will encounter the same obstacles and hardships that have plagued their communities for decades.”