Guiding Principles to Reduce Lead and Protect Families and Communities
All people across our nation should be able to turn on the faucet at home or school and drink clean water—including low-income communities and communities of color that have been disproportionally affected by dangerous lead pipes and have traditionally been underserved by local and national governments. We can make this public health goal a reality while also creating good paying jobs across the country.
Building on communities that have developed models for success and on existing partnerships among federal government, states, Tribes, local communities, water utilities, and nongovernmental organizations, we endorse the following guiding principles to reduce lead in drinking water, protect families and communities across the nation, and support the President and Vice President’s goal of making rapid progress towards replacing all lead pipes in the next decade:
- Prioritize lead remediation efforts in overburdened and underserved communities, who are more likely to be exposed to unsafe lead in their homes and environments.
- Promote the replacement of the entire lead service line, both the portion owned by the water system and the portion owned by the homeowner, to ensure that the full impact of lead pipes is addressed, without creating cost barriers or added financial burden for residents.
- Explore all available funding opportunities to ensure a speedy implementation of lead service line replacement efforts.
- Promote health-based blood lead testing, including testing in high-risk areas, such as in schools and childcare facilities and in areas with lead service lines.
- Ensure robust community engagement by promoting early and continued communication and project planning between the water utility and the public throughout the lead service line identification, planning, and replacement process, while working quickly and efficiently to mitigate lead exposure.
- Promote utilization of innovative data, science, modeling, and mapping to guide lead mitigation and develop publicly accessible inventories.
- Catalyze lead pipe replacement by spreading best practices to employ individual licensed plumbers and laborers, municipal labor, large firms, and apprentice programs in pipe replacement contracting and prioritizing local and unionized workforce development and procurement wherever possible.