Murray, Cantwell Support “True LEADership Act” to Remove Lead from Pipes and Invest More in America’s Crumbling Water Infrastructure
Through loans, grants and tax credits, legislation would inject more than $70 billion in the next 10 years into water infrastructure and lead relief programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell supported the Testing, Removal and Updated Evaluations of Lead Everywhere in America for Dramatic Enhancements that Restore Safety to Homes, Infrastructure and Pipes Act of 2016, or True LEADership Act (S.2821), a comprehensive plan that recommits the federal government to a critical role in water infrastructure investment, lead remediation and the strong drinking water protections provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and a recent report from USA Today that found 34 Washington state drinking water systems have tested above acceptable levels of lead, underscores the dangers that can result when the safety of our drinking water and state of our water infrastructure is not made a priority.
“I am proud to support this effort to provide more resources to invest in clean water infrastructure, public health, and other critical priorities to protect children and families from lead poisoning in Washington state and across the country,” said Senator Murray. “We must work to ensure nothing like the Flint crisis happens again, and it is our responsibility to deliver the resources needed to make that a reality.”
“Contaminated water remains a serious health threat for too many communities in Washington state and across the country. It is unacceptable that any drinking water system has harmful levels of lead – our children and families deserve better. This bill takes sorely needed steps to ensure the basic promise that Americans have access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Senator Cantwell.
The True LEADership Act will have nationwide reach, addressing the scourge of lead-laden water and housing across the country. It also will improve our nation’s water infrastructure, while creating thousands of new jobs.
Reforms included in the True LEADership Act include:
- Increasing investments in our water infrastructure, particularly through a new grant program specifically designed for projects that reduce lead in tap water
- Establishing a mandatory, nationwide requirement for states to report elevated blood lead levels in children
- Establishing mandatory testing and notification of lead in water systems
- Key reforms to HUD authorities and a new tax credit for homeowners to remove lead
- A new grant program for schools to aid children with the effects of lead poisoning
- Accelerates development of new water technologies
This new legislation, through a combination of loans, grants and tax credits, would inject over $70 billion over the next 10 years into water infrastructure and lead remediation programs. For every public dollar we invest in upgrading our water infrastructure, our GDP grows by more than $6.
The True LEADership Act is co-sponsored by 25 Senators including Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) who is the lead sponsor of the bill.
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