Statement: New House bill sets 10-year deadline to replace all lead pipes

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

Environment America, U.S. PIRG hail historic move to get the lead out


WASHINGTON — U.S. Reps. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Henry Cuellar of Texas on Wednesday re-introduced the Get the Lead Out Act, which sets a 10-year deadline to replace lead service lines and provides $46.5 billion in federal funding for the effort. These pipes are the single worst source of lead contamination of drinking water. 

In response, Environment America’s Clean Water Program Director John Rumpler and U.S. PIRG’s Environment Campaigns Director Matt Casale made the following statement:

“This historic bill will protect our children from lead. This potent neurotoxin is especially damaging to kids’ health, yet it contaminates drinking water in thousands of communities across America.

“Lead service lines are a chief culprit and roughly 9 million of these toxic pipes are still out there, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s time for them to go.

“Now is the time to act decisively. While some water utilities have made progress on their own, most are moving sluggishly, if at all, to fully replace these toxic pipes. The Get the Lead Out Act not only provides $46.5 billion for this crucial project, it also sets a 10-year deadline for water utilities to get the job done.

“Environment America and U.S. PIRG commend Representatives Smith and Cuellar for reintroducing their bold, bipartisan measure. The public overwhelmingly supports replacing these toxic pipes. Congress should pass this bill swiftly — either on its own or as part of a major infrastructure package this year.”