DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox as she announced the Get the Lead Out (GLO) Initiative. This new effort will help ensure safer drinking water for communities as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. New initiative funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help 200 underserved communities access technical assistance to identify and remove lead service lines and ensure safer drinking water.
Today in Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox announced the Get the Lead Out (GLO) Initiative that will help ensure safer drinking water for communities as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. Through the GLO initiative, which is funded entirely by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is in partnership with the Department of Labor, EPA will partner with 200 underserved communities nationwide to provide the technical assistance they need to identify and remove lead service lines. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government effort to tackle lead exposure, EPA will help communities remove the barriers to lead pipe removal. GLO will specifically help participating communities identify lead services lines, develop replacement plans, and apply for funding to get the lead out. Communities seeking to access GLO Initiative resources can request assistance by completing the WaterTA request form on EPA’s WaterTA website.
“An estimated 9.2 million pipes that provide drinking water to homes across the United States still contain lead, and they are most commonly found in older homes. This means they disproportionately impact families with the fewest resources to remove them. That’s why this new initiative is so critical – it will provide the kind of assistance that’s needed to accelerate the removal of lead where it’s needed most,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, EPA is positioned to help connect more communities to historic federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and move our country closer to President Biden’s goal of getting 100% of lead pipes out of water-once and for all.”
“Clean water is essential to our health and wellbeing. Yet, lead service lines exist in every state across our country, carrying drinking water to millions of homes and putting families at risk of a number of serious health problems,” said Senator Tom Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (DE). “Thanks to our unprecedented investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is helping provide more communities with the necessary tools to find and replace sources of lead in their drinking water systems. I applaud the Biden Administration for their work to ensure that more Americans have access to safe, reliable, and clean drinking water, especially those with the greatest need.”
“Every American has a fundamental right to clean, safe drinking water. That’s why I fought to make sure that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included funding to remove and replace dangerous lead service lines that continue to contaminate millions of Americans’ drinking water,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr (NJ-06). “Today’s announcement from EPA ensures that hundreds of communities across the country will soon get the resources they need and the relief they deserve to address this public health crisis. I’m grateful that EPA and the Biden Administration have been such strong partners in this fight, and I look forward to the day when every family can trust the water coming out of their tap.”
“Every resident of New Jersey and the nation has the right to safe drinking water,” said New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette, who attended the announcement. “Thanks to the historic investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, New Jersey is accelerating its efforts to better protect every resident from the risk of lead exposure by helping communities to identify lead pipes and access funding for their replacement. The Murphy Administration is proud to be part of this historic effort and thanks the Biden-Harris Administration and U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox for all of the incredible support they have provided toward our shared goal of safe drinking water for everyone.”
“President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that no parent should have to worry that their child might be exposed to lead when they take a sip of water,” said Senior Advisor to President Biden and White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. “That’s exactly why the President’s Investing in America agenda includes a historic $50 billion to deliver safe, clean water across America. Through this initiative, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can provide resources needed to reach our goal of removing every lead service line in the country.”
“President Biden launched the most ambitious strategy in history to replace all lead service lines across the country. Today, less than a year after piloting the Get the Lead Out Initiative, we celebrate another milestone on our way to meeting that historic goal – bringing five times as many communities nationwide into the fold for lead service line replacement,” said White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “The ‘GLO’ initiative is a bright example of the President’s progress in delivering clean, safe drinking water to all communities through and with partners.”
Signed in 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided a historic $50 billion investment in water and wastewater infrastructure, dedicating more than $15 billion to replacing lead service lines. EPA is committed to ensuring every community, particularly underserved and disadvantaged communities, can access their fair share of this unprecedented investment through a robust portfolio of Water Technical Assistance (WaterTA) programs, such as GLO.
EPA is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for community and state support through peer exchange and learning. Through GLO, EPA will develop tools and case studies to share information and best practices between the Agency, state and Tribal programs, water system managers, and community leaders.
Communities can learn more about EPA’s WaterTA programs, apply to become a GLO Initiative community, and find other assistance on EPA’s WaterTA website.
Through its Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and Get the Lead Out Partnership, the Biden-Harris Administration has made accelerating the removal of lead service lines a top priority, with a goal of replacing 100% of lead service lines. EPA is committed to using every tool available including our statutory authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, water technical assistance, infrastructure investments, and more to replace lead pipes and protect children and communities across America from lead in drinking water.
The GLO Initiative also builds on EPA’s “Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators” initiative, which is in partnership with the Department of Labor, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Through the Accelerators, EPA provides hands-on support to guide 40 communities in those states through the process of lead service line removals, from start to finish. This includes support in developing lead service line replacement plans, conducting inventories to identify lead pipes, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. As a result, more communities will be able to access their fair share of federal funds to secure a lead-free future.