Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $10 million will be awarded to 18 municipalities statewide to continue the state’s initiative to replace residential drinking water lead service lines through the New York State Department of Health’s Lead Service Line Replacement Program.
The program is part of New York’s $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017. The 2019 state budget continued the New York’s multi-year investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with an additional $500 million commitment, which includes $10 million in funding for this program.
Drinking water can be a source of lead exposure when service pipes that contain lead corrode, especially when the water has high acidity or low mineral content. The use of lead in residential water service lines began decreasing in the 1930s because of the evolution of regulations and construction practices, however, lead can leach into water when lead service lines, brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder corrode.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that drinking water contaminated with lead can contribute up to 20 percent or more of a person’s total lead exposure. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.
The list of the municipalities receiving the next round of Lead Service Line Replacement Program awards can be found here.