Puerto Rico receives $28.6 million in federal funding to find, replace lead water service lines

(UI) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $28.6 million from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help Puerto Rico identify and replace lead service lines to prevent exposure to lead in drinking water.

The total funding announced through this program to date is expected to replace up to 1.7 million lead pipes nationwide, securing clean drinking water for countless families.

Today’s latest funding will ensure more Puerto Rican families benefit from these unprecedented resources and support projects like:

The Puerto Rico Department of Health’s project will utilize funds to further the health protection objectives of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This agreement will provide funds to replace lead drinking water service lines and help identify the planning, design and replacement of service lines of customer-owned and PRASA-owned service lines. The Department of Health will also use this funding to provide technical assistance to state program managers and small water system administrators.

Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $15 billion to identify and replace lead service lines. The law mandates that 49% of funds provided through the DWSRF General Supplemental Funding and DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding must be provided as grants and forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities.

EPA projects a national total of 9 million lead services lines across the country, based on data collected from the updated 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. The funding will be provided specifically for lead service line identification and replacement and will help every state and territory fund projects to remove lead pipes and reduce exposure to lead from drinking water.

This Lead Service Line-specific formula allows states to receive financial assistance commensurate with their need as soon as possible, furthering public health protection nationwide. To ensure that funding is used for lead service line related activities, LSLR allotments are based on need — meaning that states with more projected lead service lines receive proportionally more.

"The continued exposure to lead in drinking water is a serious health risk to individuals, especially children. I am pleased that Puerto Rico will be receiving $28.6 million in funding for lead water service line replacement under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  This funding through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) helps us to move forward in addressing the pressing issue of aging infrastructure and safeguarding the health of our residents,” said U.S. Representative Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon.

“By replacing these outdated lines, we are improving water quality and protecting our communities' well-being for generations to come. I am proud to have been part of the effort to craft and pass the BIL as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. As we move forward, I remain dedicated to advocating for additional investments in Puerto Rico's infrastructure to address longstanding challenges and build a more resilient future for all."



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