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President Joe Biden vows that the bipartisan infrastructure deal would eliminate lead from the nation’s drinking water systems, particularly in low-income and communities of color that disproportionately suffer exposure to the potent neurotoxin. But the $1 trillion legislation unveiled Sunday evening won’t come close to fulfilling that promise.
The bill unveiled by Senate negotiators tags just $15 billion for the lead removal initiative — a fraction of the $45 billion that the White House initially called for to accomplish its signature goal, and far less than the $60 billion that the drinking water industry says it would take.
And half of the money provided by the bill would come in the form of loans that communities have to repay, putting a large share of the funding beyond the reach of many of the communities that need it most.
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