Higgins calls for more funding for lead pipe replacement

New York State needs more than $800 million to replace hundreds of thousands of lead pipes.

But Congressman Brian Higgins says the state is currently expected to receive just over $600 million. There are approximately 360,000 lead service lines in New York that would cost an estimated $883.7 million to fix.

He says that’s because the last survey for those needs was conducted in 2015 and is no longer accurate.

“One of the goals of the Infrastructure Act was to remove and replace every major utility line in America to ensure that every child, family and household has access to safe drinking water,” Congressman Higgins said. “This law contains means to finally make this happen. We just have to work to make sure it reaches the communities that need it most.”

Higgins, along with other members of Congress, is calling for a new poll to update how money is being split between states.

In the letter from Higgins and his colleagues, they note: “According to two surveys sponsored by the American Water Works Association, the seven states with the highest prevalence of LSLs had 50% of the nation’s total. However, based on the 2015 DWINSA, EPA would allocate only 18% of LSLR funding to the seven states that bear the bulk of the LSL burden.

The funding is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

This includes $55 billion to improve access to clean water and $15 billion specifically to remove utility connections.

In addition to New York, 13 other states, including Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and New Jersey, would also post large deficits, while many states would receive more funding than needed to remove leading service lines.

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