Kamala Harris photo

Press Release - Vice President Harris Highlights the Biden-Harris Administration's Historic Investments to Remove and Replace Lead Pipes

June 18, 2022

Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania yesterday to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration's historic investments to remove and replace lead pipes and paint, and to announce an additional $500 million for states and local government to reduce lead exposure and build healthier homes.

The Vice President was joined by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan.

Read more below:

Greenwire: Vice president hits swing state Pa. to tout lead action
[Hannah Northey, Ariel Wittenberg, 06/17/2022]

GREENWIRE | Vice President Kamala Harris is in Pittsburgh today to highlight the Biden administration's work reducing lead exposure.

Harris will be joined by EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge. The trio will announce $4 billion in funds from appropriations through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law now available to communities replacing lead pipes, plus $500 million in new HUD funding for states and local governments to reduce exposure to the dangerous neurotoxin that is found in both lead pipes and lead-based paint. […]

"This is a follow through to make sure that the American people and communities see that the administration is committed to taking action and not just putting out plans, but really following through on those plans," Ike Irby, policy adviser to the vice president, told E&E News.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Vice President Kamala Harris touts White House's infrastructure plan during Pittsburgh visit
[Hallie Lauer, 06/17/2022]

Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Pittsburgh Friday morning to meet with members of the community and other leaders in Homewood to discuss the White House's bipartisan infrastructure plan and how it could help replace lead water lines in the region. […]

In her remarks, Ms. Harris said that Pittsburgh is a "model of what can and will happen around the country." […]

"There's the piece that is about equity, which is literally different communities are dealing with this differently based on what resources they have," she said. "It is an issue that is about public health because of the harm, and then because of the harm, it makes it an issue that is also about education. Meaning, can our babies learn if they're drinking from toxic water?" […]

Prior to leaving the city, Ms. Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, visited the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill to pay their respects.

The Hill: Harris touts administration's lead removal efforts in Pittsburgh
[Zack Budryk, 06/17/22]

Vice President Harris highlighted federal action to replace lead pipes at an event in Pittsburgh on Friday.

The bipartisan infrastructure law President Biden signed in late 2021 includes more than $4 billion to replace all the nation's lead pipes. Lead contamination of water supplies has been linked to lead poisoning and learning disabilities, most notoriously in the case of Flint, Mich., which exposed up to 12,000 children to lead. […]

"We know that all people have a right to be able to drink clean water, that all people have a right to breathe clean air," Harris said. "So we approach this from that perspective, that we as a society and certainly we as a government must ensure that that right is real and that it is protected."

The vice president highlighted economic disparities that have prevented the removal of contaminants like lead from lower-income communities. These factors, she added, illustrate that drinking water is an equity issue as well as an educational and public health issue.

CBS News Pittsburgh: Vice President Kamala Harris pitches plans to remove lead from water in Pittsburgh
[Madeline Bartos, 06/17/2022]

Vice President Kamala Harris was in Pittsburgh Friday to highlight how funding from the bipartisan infrastructure deal from 2021 will help the city replace lead pipes.

"I just want to thank the leaders here in Pittsburgh for the work that you have been doing," she told a small gathering that included County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Mayor Ed Gainey, Congressman Mike Doyle, Congressman Conor Lamb, state Sen. Jay Costa and state Rep. Martell Covington.

The vice president announced a $500 million program to educate about the dangers of lead pipes, to help homeowners learn if they are at risk, and to replace unsafe pipes everywhere. […]

Harris said up to 10 million homes in the country have lead pipes and at least 24 million have lead paint. She said some people who rent may not even know about the dangers in their homes, saying drinking "toxic water" can lead to developmental issues in children and increase blood pressure and decrease kidney function in adults.

Tribune Total Media: Vice President Kamala Harris visits Pittsburgh, touts need for lead pipe removal
[Megan Guza, 06/17/2022]

Vice President Kamala Harris, in a visit to Pittsburgh on Friday, discussed the administration's efforts at the federal level to replace lead pipes — an issue familiar to many Pittsburgh residents.

Harris, alongside EPA administrator Michael Regan and Marcia Fudge, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, spoke at the Community Empowerment Association in Homewood South. They arrived in Pittsburgh late in the morning and led a discussion among a group of community members about lead lines and the harm lead can do to both children and adults. […]

"In large part, the work that we are doing is in response to the advocacy that has been coming out of leaders like the leaders here in Pittsburgh who have been demanding that we prioritize this as an issue," Harris said. […]

Harris pointed to the Biden administration's bipartisan Infrastructure bill, which has earmarked $15 billion for lead pipe removal.

"That money will go toward what local governments can do to facilitate testing – at-home tests, things of that nature," she said. "And it will go to the removal of lead pipes."

Additional Coverage:

WESA 90.5: Kamala Harris calls Pittsburgh a leader in lead remediation during Homewood visit
The Pittsburgh Business Times: Vice President Kamala Harris visits Pittsburgh to discuss lead pipe issues
UPI: VP Kamala Harris praises Pittsburgh's efforts replacing lead pipes
Spectrum News: 'Government has a responsibility': VP announces $500M in new grants to tackle lead in homes
WTAE-TV: Vice President Kamala Harris visits Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood
WXPI-TV: Vice President Kamala Harris talks infrastructure and water pipes during Pittsburgh visit
Patch: Vice President Kamala Harris To Visit Pittsburgh On Friday

Kamala Harris, Press Release - Vice President Harris Highlights the Biden-Harris Administration's Historic Investments to Remove and Replace Lead Pipes Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/356522

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