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Biden EPA moves to replace all lead water pipes within 10 years

"We're trying to right a longstanding wrong here," Radhika Fox, head of the EPA Office of Water told CBS.

Published: November 30, 2023 7:31am

Updated: November 30, 2023 11:01pm

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule to have all lead water pipes replaced in 10 years, citing long-standing health concerns about them contaminating drinking water. 

"These improvements ensure that in a not too distant future, there will never be another city and another child poisoned by their pipes," Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician and advocate for clean water, told CBS News.

According to the outlet, the EPA has argued that tighter standards on lead pipes would improve blood pressure and heart issues in adults, and increase the IQ scores of children, as millions of people get water from lead pipes. 

The EPA has come out previously and said that lead pipes are a major hazard to peoples' health and are "typically the most significant source of lead in the water."

The rule, titled "Lead and Copper Rule Improvements," would require all water systems "to regularly update their inventories, create a publicly available service line replacement plan, and identify the materials of all service lines of unknown material."

The agency stated it wants to avoid another health disaster like the one in Flint, Michigan, where peoples' drinking water was contaminated. 

"We're trying to right a longstanding wrong here," Radhika Fox, head of the EPA's Office of Water told CBS. "We're bending the arc towards equity and justice on this legacy issue."

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