Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators
The science is clear—there is no safe level of lead exposure. Yet, lead in drinking water pipes and faucets threatens the health of American families and children across the country. An estimated 6 to 10 million lead service lines (LSLs) serve water to properties in communities across the United States. The Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan outlines President Biden’s vision of lead-free water systems, and dedicated funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will greatly advance the goal of replacing 100% of lead service lines.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents a historic opportunity to address lead challenges in communities across America. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $15 billion through EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in the form of grants and loans to water systems for lead service line replacement (LSLR). Forty-nine percent of this funding must be provided to disadvantaged communities (as defined by the state) as grants or principal forgiveness loans—which can provide a pathway for underserved communities that might not otherwise have access to funding for water infrastructure upgrades.
Communities may have limited technical, operational, and financial resources for LSL identification and replacement. Barriers associated with LSLR—understanding lead in drinking water, reluctance or legal constraints to working on private property, challenges accessing contractors to conduct service line identification and construction—slow down the process. Direct technical assistance can help communities address these barriers.
A Partnership Approach
EPA is collaborating with state partners in a new water technical assistance initiative called Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators. EPA and four state partners—Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—will work with 40 communities in 2023 to address existing barriers and accelerate progress towards LSL identification and replacement.
EPA is committed to creating meaningful opportunities for the participating communities through peer exchange and learning. This initiative will include the development of tools and case studies to facilitate knowledge transfer and sharing of best practices between EPA, state and tribal programs, water system managers, and community leaders.
The Accelerators will collectively work in 40 communities across the four states to accelerate lead service line projects by supporting the development of:
- Community engagement plans that provide educational resources and meaningfully engage affected community members while identifying and replacing LSLs;
- Lead Service Line inventories that identify the location of lead lines and meet requirements in the 2021 Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) for a complete inventory by October 2024.
- Lead Service Line replacement plans that provide communities with a roadmap for identification, prioritization, and replacement of all LSLs, including public and private portions; and/or
- SRF funding applications that help communities access DWSRF funding for LSL replacement projects.
For More Information
- For more information about EPA’s ongoing technical assistance programs, please visit www.epa.gov/water- infrastructure/water-technical-assistance.
- Review and download: LSLR Accelerators Fact Sheet (pdf) (138.45 KB) .
- EPA Press Release: EPA Launches New Initiative to Accelerate Lead Pipe Replacement to Protect Underserved Communities
- Remarks by Vice President Harris in a Moderated Conversation at the Accelerating Lead Pipe Replacement Summit
Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions and Progress to Protect Communities From Lead Pipes and Paint