The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a crucial step towards achieving 100% lead-free water systems with the launch of the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators (LSLR) program. This initiative received support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which has invested $50 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure, including $15 billion for lead service line replacement and $11.7 billion for drinking water state funds.
“The science is clear—there is no safe level of exposure to lead,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA is committed to partnering with states and communities to protect children and families and ensure our nation’s drinking water pipes are lead-free. Our Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators demonstrate our commitment to ensuring every community has access to safe, clean drinking water.”
Partnerships Are Key
The LSLR initiative is a partnership with the Department of Labor, four states, and 40 communities to provide targeted technical assistance and support to replace lead pipes in underserved communities. The LSLR Accelerators incentive places a strong emphasis on partnership. The EPA will work closely with the states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin to remove lead pipes and recognizes their leadership in finding new and innovative methods. The EPA and its partners will work with 40 communities across the four states in 2023.
The initiative will assist these states in efficiently utilizing the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for lead service line replacement and creating successful strategies that can be used as a guide for the rest of the country. As noted below, the EPA has compiled lead service line replacement (LSLR) challenges and best practices.
What are the goals of the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative?
The Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative appears to have a significant influence on the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators (LSLR) initiative, as the goal of the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative is stated to be accelerate voluntary lead service line replacement in communities across the United States. It provides targeted technical assistance and support to replace lead pipes in underserved communities. Its principles include:
- Removal of lead service lines in contact with drinking water provides an opportunity to significantly reduce the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water.
- LSL replacement initiatives must be designed to ensure residents are protected during and after the removal and that the work is done in a cost effective manner.
- LSL replacement initiatives should address barriers to participation so that consumers served by LSLs can benefit equitably, regardless of income, race or ethnicity.
- A collaborative, community-based approach, built on contributions from residents, health officers, utilities, community leaders, local elected officials, can help provide the strong foundation needed for successful action.
- Innovative models are needed to help communities find the tools, strategies and resources needed to replace LSLs based on the latest science and current best practices.
- By providing models for LSL replacement, it is possible to advance support for initiatives at all levels of government and in different types of communities.
Successful LSL replacement initiatives will take careful planning and time.
- This effort is focused on mechanisms to support local action not on EPA’s efforts to revise the Lead and Copper Rule.
The Future is Lead-Free
The EPA will provide hands-on support in the lead removal process and work with the partners to access funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The initiative aims to increase community outreach, education, and access to funds for lead-free futures.
U.S. Sen. John Fetterman commented, “This initiative is a home-run to provide clean drinking water to communities in Pennsylvania and throughout the region. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s unprecedented investment in water and sewer lines will help build on previous progress and ensure that all communities, including the most vulnerable and forgotten, have access to safe water systems.”
Flomatic Remains Committed to the Future
Safe drinking water plays a vital role in our daily needs. Flomatic, a provider of sustainable and health-compliant valves, remains committed to the future with a focus on safe drinking water. You can learn more about the importance of our American-made manufacturing practices in connection to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in our blog ‘What is the Build America, Buy America (BABA) Act?‘ and in our featured blog ‘Imagine A Day Without Water’.