FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 17, 2021
Contact: Dana Johnson, email@example.com, 917-885-3314
WE ACT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE RESPONDS TO BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCEMENT OF LEAD PIPE AND PAINT ACTION PLAN
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday the Biden-Harris Administration announced its plan to accelerate the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments in an effort to replace all lead pipes within the next decade. Yuwa Vosper, Policy & Regulatory Manager, of WE ACT for Environmental Justice responded to the news:
“We commend the Biden-Harris Administration for launching a comprehensive approach to addressing the dangerous, yet preventable, lead problem that exists in the United States. The Lead Pipe and Paint Plan is needed if we are going to reduce the disproportionate exposure to lead that exists in childcare facilities, schools, homes, and other places inhabited by children of color. Particularly those who, if Black and living below the poverty line, are twice as likely to suffer from lead poisoning as poor white children.
Our organization has been a vocal champion of stronger lead prevention and remediation policies and investments. We were instrumental in getting Local Law 1, which was designed to make New York City lead free by 2010, passed. Our policy and environmental health colleagues lead a Lead Roundtable, as an extension of the New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning, that advocates for stronger lead legislation and funding and serves as a watchdog to ensure enforcement of lead laws. The Roundtable has successfully gotten 10 lead laws passed and published two reports that identified gaps in the City’s lead prevention program and provided recommendations for resolving them. We co-lead the Lead Free Kids New York (LFKNY) Coalition, a group that works to prevent childhood lead poisoning in New York State. LFKNY was instrumental in getting the State Senate to host the first hearing on lead poisoning in more than 20 years and is calling on Governor Hochul to include $1 billion in lead remediation and prevention in the 2022 budget. The $350 billion of funding that Vice President Kamala Harris announced yesterday will bring the resources needed to address lead in a meaningful way in localities, states and Indigenous communities, including New York State.
Finally, a key component of the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan is to strengthen the Lead and Copper Rule, which has not been updated in 30 years. We acknowledge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its work to reduce lead in drinking water and close the gap on outdated sampling techniques by updating the rule and hope to see our comments on how to embed equity and environmental justice be reflected in the final version.”
WE ACT for Environmental Justice is also tracking these areas of key investments that can improve the environment and public health outcomes in Northern Manhattan and communities across this nation:
- $15 billion of direct funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for lead service line replacements and an additional $11.7 billion in State-Revolving Funding.
- $9 billion in the Build Back Better Act for lead remediation grants to disadvantaged communities.
- $1 billion in the Build Back Better Act for the mitigation and removal of lead based paint, lead faucets and fixtures and other health hazards in low-income households through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- $65 billion of Build Back Better Act funding for public housing agencies.
- $5 billion for other federally assisted housing preservation and rehabilitation.
- $13.2 million to state and local government agencies through its Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction (LBPHR) program awarded by HUD.
- $2.9 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to states, Tribes, and other territories for lead service line replacement in 2022 allocated by EPA.
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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.