(ABC 6 News) — A bill creating grants for lead pipe removal and replacement across Minnesota is now law.
Gov. Tim Walz signed the law into law Tuesday afternoon during a ceremony at a water treatment plant in St. Paul. Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan joined legislators, labor and environmental advocates, and representatives from the greater Minnesota area to celebrate the signing of the bill.
The statement, HF 24which had bipartisan support provides $240 million to the Public Facilities Authority to set up a subsidy program for the replacement of leaded water supply lines.
The following groups are eligible to receive the grants: municipal public water suppliers of a municipal water system, municipalities, suppliers of other domestic drinking water systems; and anyone who is eligible for grants or loans under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
“Safe, clean drinking water is a basic human need – and it’s high time to make it a reality for all Minnesota residents,” said Gov. Walz. “By investing in lead pipe replacements statewide, we are providing relief to families and homeowners and improving the health and safety of Minnesotans across the state. This is how we create a safer and cleaner future for our children and grandchildren.”
The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that there are approximately 100,000 water supply lines in the state that leak lead into the drinking water flowing through them. Exposure to lead can damage the brain, kidneys and nervous system. In children, lead can also slow development or cause learning, behavioral, and hearing problems.
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