President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan includes a proposal to upgrade the U.S. drinking water distribution system by removing and replacing dangerous lead pipes. As a geochemist and environmental health researcher who has studied the heartbreaking impacts of lead poisoning in children for decades, I am happy to see due attention paid to this silent killer, which disproportionately affects poor communities of color.
Biden’s proposal includes US$45 billion to eliminate all lead pipes and service lines nationwide. The funding would go to programs administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
This effort would affect an estimated 6 million to 10 million homes, along with 400,000 schools and child care facilities. I see it as one of the nation’s best chances to finally get the lead out of the nation’s drinking water, and its children.