Joe Biden

Biden Takes Unprecedented Action To Remove Lead Pipes And Provide Clean Drinking Water To American Families

If you think about the Flint, Michigan water crisis, it’s upsetting and grabs attention. But what doesn’t grab attention, but should, is when the work is being done to prevent poisonous water — to provide clean air and clean water. That work is something President Biden has been doing with what his administration rightfully calls his Infrastructure Decade. This is a “moral responsibility,” they say.

That moral responsibility is why on Thursday they are announcing new action to replace toxic lead pipes around the country and deliver clean drinking water.

According to a White House fact sheet provided to PoliticusUSA:

President Biden is traveling today to Wilmington, North Carolina, to announce $3 billion through his Investing in America agenda to replace toxic lead pipes. This investment, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is part of the historic $15 billion in dedicated funding for lead pipe replacement provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Today’s announcement delivers funding to every state and U.S. territory to help address lead in drinking water while creating good-paying jobs, many of them union jobs. In addition, this program funding is part of the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities, and is helping address the inequities of lead exposure.

Additionally, to further reduce lead exposure, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is announcing today nearly $90 million in available funding to reduce residential health hazards in public housing, including lead-based paint hazards, carbon monoxide, mold, radon, fire safety, and asbestos, advancing the President’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan.

Flint, Michigan is the most well known example of the environmental inequality that exists in poor communities. All Americans deserve access to safe drinking water. It is a human rights issue that should not be happening in the United States.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan told PoliticusUSA during a call with reporters, “Nearly 50% of this funding will go to disadvantaged communities, a crucial investment for communities that have been underserved and overburdened by pollution for far too long. With today’s announcement, the funds will the funds awarded so far will help replace up to 1.7 million lead pipes securing clean drinking water for countless families across the country. Alongside this funding, our agency is also releasing a memorandum that helps states understand how they can use this and other funding to most effectively reduce exposure to lead in drinking water. It’s far past time to get the lead out once and for all. This is a matter of public health, a matter of environmental justice and a matter of basic human rights.”

The Biden administration is attempting to make American lives better in the most basic and essential ways. Every person deserves clean air to breathe and water to drink. President Biden is living up to his moral responsibility as president while delivering environmental justice for millions of Americans.

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Sarah Jones and Jason Easley

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