EPA proposes rule that all cities replace lead water pipes in 10 years' time

NOW: EPA proposes rule that all cities replace lead water pipes in 10 years’ time

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - The EPA is proposing a major change to require all cities to replace lead water pipes within 10 years.

It's meant to cut lead exposure as more communities face water crises like we've seen in Benton Harbor.

Millions of Americans use lead pipes for drinking water and advocates say this new rule could potentially boost kids IQ and cut adult health issues.

Deteriorating lead pipes caused elevated lead levels in the water in the city of Benton Harbor, which started a major pipe replacement project, digging up and replacing more than 4,000 water lines city wide. 

Due to water crises like this, the Biden Administration now wants to replace around nine million lead pipes in the country.

The EPA is aiming to curb lead in drinking water to prevent crises like the ones in Flint, Benton Harbor, or the elevated lead level in Dowagiac in October.

The EPA also wants to lower the limit of lead in water before areas are forced to act.

Despite the massive cost of rebuilding infrastructure across the country, Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad believes this would be a positive move.

“Well, I think that the legislation is a step in the right direction. It certainly will be challenging for many cities in the state of Michigan and throughout the country. Benton Harbor is currently leading the nation in terms of removal and replacement of lead service lines," said Mayor Marcus Muhammad.

There are some exceptions to the rule.

Big cities like Chicago will get longer times to replace its lead pipes.

The public will also have a chance to give their input.

The agency plans to put out a final proposal next fall.

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