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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The city is beating this year’s goals for removing lead and improving water quality.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) says since mid-March, it has already replaced over 700 public service lines that contain lead — setting the agency on track to replace over 3,700 more by June 2020.
Lead water pipes threaten public health. Partial replacements could make it worse.|Opinion
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The crisis in Flint, Mich., made clear the health impacts of lead in drinking water, especially for infants, young children, and fetuses. Now water tests have found lead contamination in homes and schools across New Jersey. While the 1991 federal Lead and Copper Rule, which relies primarily on adjusting water chemistry to minimize the leaching of lead from old pipes into water, works most – but not all – of the time, it has failed to eliminate the biggest underlying source of lead in water: lead service lines.
These pipes, made of lead, deliver water to residences and smaller commercial buildings from the main under the street and serve as “lead straws.” There are an estimated 350,000 lead service lines in New Jersey, and until they are replaced, the problem of lead in water will not be resolved.
See the full article in WSPY News.
In a 6-0 vote, Montgomery trustees, at their meeting earlier this week, gave authorization for the signing of loan documents to offer lead line replacement to the roughly 105 homes in the community that have lead lines.
Montgomery Director of Finance Justin VanVooren explained that the loan agreement is through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for a 100 percent forgivable loan up to $1 million.
Montgomery's loan would be for $1.85 million, with remaining funds used from 2017 bonds. While considerably less than many other communities, Montgomery's replacement amount more than doubled from the original estimate.
See the full article from the South Pittsburgh Reporter
PWSA has nearly $2 million still available for free on-demand lead line replacements for moderate and low-income drinking water customers.
As part of the settlement of an enforcement action by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Water and Sewer Authority has established a free lead line replacement program available to homeowners and tenants who meet certain income requirements.
Under the program, PWSA must use $1.8 million for private lead line replacements before November 2020. The funding is expected to replace 200 privately-owned lead lines throughout our drinking water service territory. If there is also a publicly-owned lead line serving the property, they will replace it at no additional cost. Once approved, customers meeting the income requirements can have their lead line replaced in a matter of one or two months.
PWSA has teamed up with Dollar Energy Fund, Inc. to run the program. Although they are currently reaching out to customers already enrolled in other income assistance programs, there are many households not eligible for utility discounts and government assistance programs that would still be eligible for this program.
See the full article from the Marquette Wire.
Gov. Tony Evers, who spoke at a Milwaukee Press Club event downtown Tuesday afternoon, denounced the rhetoric used by some Republican state legislators to discuss the Democratic governor’s lead water line proposals.
Evers recently proposed $40 million in the state budget to replace the state’s lead water lines. Alternatives to pipe replacement, such as drinking water filters, were expressed as a more attractive option by some Republican state lawmakers.
Lead water lines are most likely to be found in older cities and homes built before 1986, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When plumbing materials containing lead begin to corrode, lead can enter drinking water streams.
Women of reproductive age, children, infants and fetuses are most affected by consumption of lead drinking water. Lead can accumulate in the body and cause a variety of health complications, from nervous system damage to impaired formation and function of blood cells, according to the EPA.
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