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The White House’s insistence that the infrastructure package moving through the Senate will solve the nation’s problem of lead contamination in drinking water is befuddling and disappointing allies — from environmental justice advocates to some Democrats and unions.
The bill would provide a dedicated $15 billion to removing lead service lines, falling short of the $45 billion President Biden originally called for in his initial infrastructure pitch and jobs plans. But the White House says water utilities can also tap into $11 billion set aside as general funds for drinking water projects, marking a historic investment in clean water.
“As a critical part of what will be the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, the bipartisan infrastructure bill provides over $11 billion in additional general drinking water funding that states can apply towards the full replacement of all lead pipes and service lines in the country, for a total of over $26 billion,” a White House spokesperson said in an email yesterday.
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