FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces $500 Million for Philadelphia Water Upgrades and Lead Service Removal
President and Vice President Highlight National Progress Replacing Lead Pipes & Delivering Clean Water Thanks to Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Continuing the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on implementing its economic agenda to deliver real results for the American people, President Biden and Vice President Harris are traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to highlight progress made improving water infrastructure and replacing lead pipes. Through historic levels of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, American Rescue Plan, and annual appropriations, and using regulatory tools across federal, state, and local government, the Administration is working to replace all lead service lines in America in the next decade. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests nearly $50 billion in clean water, with at least $15 billion set aside at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for loans and grants to states to remove lead service lines.
At the event in Philadelphia, the President will announce:
- The City of Philadelphia is slated to receive $160 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s first of five years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law water funding to help upgrade water facilities and replace over 19 miles of water mains, and the lead service lines and connections along those mains;
- A $340 million Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan from EPA for the City of Philadelphia to upgrade its water system, including the first $19 million in financing that will help modernize critical infrastructure by replacing approximately 160 lead service lines and 13 miles of watermains; and,
- 10 communities across Pennsylvania will participate in EPA’s new “Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators” program announced last Friday at the White House, which will drive faster progress on removing lead service lines. Through the LSLR Accelerators initiative, EPA will provide hands-on support to guide communities through the process of lead service line removals, from start to finish, including developing lead service line replacement plans, conducting inventories to identify lead pipes, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.
The massive investments in water improvements will also create new good paying jobs, including jobs that do not require a college degree.
Progress Removing Lead Service Lines
Since taking office, the Administration has moved aggressively to accelerate the replacement of lead service lines across the country, funding the removal of over 100,000 lead service lines. That number will increase significantly with $1.2 billion now approved for 23 states for lead service line identification and replacement as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The 2022 allocation was the first of five years of nearly $15 billion in dedicated EPA funding for lead service lines that states will receive through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Because of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there is dedicated funding to remove lead service lines and new prioritization for disadvantaged communities to benefit from this investment.
Last week, at a White House Summit on Accelerating Lead Pipe Replacement hosted by Vice President Harris, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions and progress to deliver clean drinking water, replace lead pipes, and remediate lead paint to protect children and communities across America. In addition to EPA’s Accelerators, the Vice President announced a new Get the Lead Out Partnership comprised of over 100 state and local officials, water utilities, labor unions, and other nongovernmental organizations who have committed to advance and accelerate lead pipe replacement, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Vice President also sent a letter to Governors across the country calling on them to join the new partnership, deploy the federal funding available in their state, and ensure investments reach overburdened and underserved communities.
Other recent Administration actions to address lead include:
- EPA released guidance that will help communities and water utilities identify lead pipes that connect drinking water service to homes and other buildings by developing and maintaining service line inventories, support notifications to consumers served by lead pipes, and provide states with information on oversight and reporting to EPA.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the Blood Lead Reference Value (BLRV) to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter of blood based on the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, resulting over the past year, 21 states have changed their laws or policies to provide case management or other services to children with blood lead levels higher than the updated BLRV of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter. As a result of this action, more children are receiving early intervention to prevent additional lead exposure and its associated harms.
- EPA has taken several steps in the process of proposing the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI).
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is in the process of implementing its Lead Safe Housing Rule that eliminates or mitigates lead-based paint hazards through its housing rehabilitation assistance.
Infrastructure Progress Across Pennsylvania
Already in the first year of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, $8.1 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding is headed to Pennsylvania with over 168 specific projects identified for funding.
- Roads and Bridges: In Pennsylvania, there are 3,353 bridges and over 7,540 miles of highway in poor condition. To date, $5.1 billion has been announced in Pennsylvania for roads, bridges, roadway safety, and major projects. This includes $4.4 billion in highway formula funding and $706.8 million in dedicated formula funding for bridges in 2022 and 2023.
- High-Speed Internet: To date, Pennsylvania has received $5 million through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD) to help provide access to high-speed internet across the state. In addition, about 530,000 households in Pennsylvania are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program.
- Water: To date, $240 million has been awarded to Pennsylvania to provide clean and safe water across the state and improve water and wastewater infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This includes $87.3 million dedicated to lead pipe and service line replacement. This funding is in addition to the $67.4 million the state received in base FY2022 State Revolving Fund appropriations.
- Public Transit: Based on formula funding alone, Pennsylvania would expect to receive approximately $3.2 billion over five years under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve public transit across the state. To date, Pennsylvania has been allocated $614.8 million to improve public transportation options across the state in fiscal year 2022 and 2023.
- Clean Buses: To date, Pennsylvania has been awarded $34.6 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program. In addition, communities in Pennsylvania were awarded $23.4 million for clean transit buses and improved bus service through DOT’s Low- and No- Emission Bus and Bus and Bus Facilities Program.
- Electric Vehicle Charging: Through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program alone, Pennsylvania should expect to receive roughly $172 million in formula funding over five years to support the expansion of electric vehicle charging in the state. Pennsylvania has been allocated $61.9 million in 2022 and 2023 to build out a network of EV chargers across the state.
- Clean Energy & Power: To date, approximately $221.2 million has been allocated to Pennsylvania for clean energy, energy efficiency, and power in 2022 and 2023. This includes: $186 million for weatherization; $14.1 million through the State Energy Program; $12.8 million through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program; and $8.1 million to prevent outages and make the power grid more resilient. Additional grid funding will be made available in the coming months.
- Airports and Ports: To date, Pennsylvania has received approximately $120.4 million in 2022 and 2023 for airports and roughly $109.8 million in 2022 and 2023 for ports and waterways.
- Resilience: In the last decade, Pennsylvania has experienced 37 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. To date, approximately $1.1 billion has been allocated to Pennsylvania for infrastructure resilience in 2022 and 2023.
- Legacy Pollution Cleanup: To date, approximately $349.1 million has been allocated to Pennsylvania in 2022 and 2023 for capping orphaned oil and gas wells and reclaiming abandoned mine lands and $7.5 million has been allocated to cleaning up Superfund and brownfield sites.
Economic Progress Across Pennsylvania
Under President Biden, we’re building an economy from the bottom up and middle out, including creating good-paying jobs, record small business growth, and spurring new manufacturing investments across Pennsylvania.
- Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is at 3.9% – down from 7.7% two years earlier and now at the lowest level in the state’s recorded history. Pennsylvania has also added nearly 400,000 total jobs since the President took office.
- Over the last two years, over 287,000 new businesses have been started in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In fact, 2021 had the highest number of new businesses started in Pennsylvania on record – 24 percent higher than the previous record.
- Across Pennsylvania, companies have announced investments and expansions, including Encina which announced a $1.1 billion investment in a new advanced manufacturing facility in Point Township, PA that will support a more sustainable and circular economy; Doral Renewables announced a $250 million solar project in central Pennsylvania that will generate enough electricity to power 33,000 households; and Croda International has committed $58 million toward a new biomanufacturing facility in Lamar, PA to produce ingredients for critical vaccines.