Energy & Environment

White House says bipartisan deal will get rid of all of the country’s lead pipes

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The bipartisan infrastructure agreement reached last week will get rid of all of the country’s lead pipes and service lines, according to a new White House memo, but it’s not clear how long it will take.

The memo, from National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and senior adviser Anita Dunn, says the bipartisan framework “will replace 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also told reporters on Monday that “it will put Americans to work replacing 100 percent of our nation’s lead water pipes” but wouldn’t give a time period when asked how long it would take. 

“The details are very important here. It needs to all be written into the final legislation of the bill, but the president is clearly eager to get that done as quickly as possible,” she said when asked about timing. 

Exposing children to lead can damage their brains and nervous systems. 

Overall, the package will put $55 billion toward “water infrastructure,” which will include replacing lead service lines. 

This figure and others were initially announced last week as part of the $579 billion in new spending for infrastructure. 

It was also announced that other funds would go towards environmental purposes, including $7.5 billion for electric vehicle infrastructure and an additional $7.5 billion for electric buses. 

However, the Deese-Dunn memo indicates that even more funding could go toward the infrastructure piece, listing the $7.5 billion top-line number for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure but also saying that the package would invest “$7.5 billion in grant funding, plus an additional $7.5 billion in low-cost financing, to build out a national network of EV chargers.”

Spokespeople for the White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s questions on the matter. 

The electric bus funding is listed separately in a different section of the memo. 

The memo also lays out $20 billion that will go toward infrastructure financing, which it says will leverage “billions of dollars into clean transportation and clean energy.”

Tags Brian Deese Jen Psaki
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