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Governor Phil Murphy

ICYMI: New Jersey to Get Over $123 Million for Lead Pipe Replacement to Advance Safe Drinking Water


EPA announces latest round of funding toward President Biden’s commitment to replace every lead pipe in the nation, protecting public health and helping to deliver safe drinking water 


Trenton N.J. (May 2, 2024) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $123.1 million from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help New Jersey identify and replace lead service lines, preventing exposure to lead in drinking water. Lead can cause a range of serious health impacts, including irreversible harm to brain development in children. To protect children and families, President Biden has committed to replacing every lead pipe in the country. Today’s announcement, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and available through EPA’s successful Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, takes another major step to advance this work and environmental justice, and bolsters the Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and EPA’s Get the Lead Out Initiative. 

Working collaboratively, EPA and the State Revolving Funds are advancing the President’s Justice40 Initiative as lead exposure disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income families. The total funding announced through this program to date is expected to replace up to 1.7 million lead pipes nationwide, which would secure clean drinking water for countless families.  

“The science is clear, there is no safe level of lead exposure, and the primary source of harmful exposure in drinking water is through lead pipes,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “President Biden understands it is critical to identify and remove lead pipes as quickly as possible, and he has secured significant resources for states and territories to accelerate the permanent removal of dangerous lead pipes once and for all.” 

“Every New Jerseyan deserves safe drinking water when they turn on their tap and this major injection of funding will further bolster the work to achieve that goal,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “For too long, the urgent need to improve our drinking water systems has far outweighed the available funding. This crucial Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding is helping close that gap.” 

“The public health threat posed by our aging water infrastructure is a challenge across both our state and the nation. In order to prevent toxic exposures for this generation and beyond, we have committed to replacing every lead service line in New Jersey by 2031,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the support of the U.S. EPA and our congressional delegation, the substantial federal resources pouring into New Jersey will put us a great deal closer to this goal.”  

“This investment in replacing New Jersey’s lead service lines will help ensure we deliver safe, clean drinking water while also creating jobs. In a nation as wealthy as ours, every child should be guaranteed the right to safe drinking water,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “I’m proud to have voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make investments like this that will pay dividends in our health, well-being, and prosperity for generations to come."  

“Clean and safe drinking water is essential for communities in South Jersey and across the state,” said U.S. Representative Donald Norcross (NJ-01). “This federal funding to replace dangerous lead pipes is yet another transformative investment in New Jersey made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. I commend President Biden and the EPA for their continued commitment to delivering the infrastructure improvements that our communities need. I look forward to working together to build on this progress and ensure that tax dollars are put to work for South Jersey families." 

“We continue to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivering for essential, everyday needs across New Jersey. Lead-free drinking water should be a right, never a luxury. I am proud to have helped deliver our state this critical funding to look after public health and reduce the risk of lead contaminated water,’ said U.S. Representative Andy Kim (NJ-03). “I look forward to seeing its impact for so many local families and am committed to building on this effort to ensure every community across New Jersey and our country has the resources it needs to deliver everyone reliable, clean water.”  

“New Jersey has more than 350,000 lead lines, among the most in the nation. Every family in Jersey deserves to drink water that’s free of lead and dangerous chemicals,” said U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’m proud to have helped craft and pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, a milestone in my years-long fight for clean drinking water. With this legislation, we’re clawing back massive federal investments to protect Jersey children and purify our water — all without raising local taxes. It’s a victory for our families, our environment, and our entire state.” 

“Every American should be able to trust the water that comes from their tap, which is why removing toxic lead water lines has long been one of my top priorities in Congress. In New Jersey, too many families still receive water in their homes through these dangerous lines. Thankfully today’s announcement continues to build on our state’s progress toward upgrading our water infrastructure by replacing these toxic water lines,” said U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (NJ-06). “As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee last Congress, I fought to include this funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law so that families don’t have to worry about being exposed to this harmful contaminant in their water. I’m glad to see that law is continuing to deliver on the promise to improve our state’s most critical infrastructure, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure that all of our communities have access to safe drinking water.”  

“No one should have to question whether their tap water is safe to drink,” said U.S. Representative Menendez (NJ-08). “With over $120 million coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are transforming our aging water infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water to residents across New Jersey. I am proud to work alongside House Democrats and the Biden Administration to ensure that every American can trust the water flowing from their faucets.”  

“Towns and cities throughout New Jersey are working to replace lead service lines but I often hear from mayors and councils about the tough financial burden these projects put on their municipal budgets. I am proud to have fought for the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that continues to deliver for our state with this new funding from the EPA. The federal resources coming to New Jersey to help fund these projects will have an immense impact on affordability, health, and water quality in our communities,” said U.S. Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11).   

“Safe drinking water is a human right, yet far too many people in New Jersey and across the country lack access to it. We have a national water crisis and must act now,” said U.S. Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12). “I’m proud to advocate for targeted federal funding to eliminate lead lines, address potential contaminants in our water, and ensure our state has clean drinking water. This historic investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a crucial step toward building a sustainable, secure and healthy future for all.”  

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests a historic $15 billion to identify and replace lead service lines. The law mandates that 49% of funds provided through the DWSRF General Supplemental Funding and DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding must be provided as grants and forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities, a crucial investment for communities that have been underinvested in for too long. EPA projects a national total of 9 million lead services lines across the country, based on data collected from the updated 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. The funding announced today will be provided specifically for lead service line identification and replacement and will help New Jersey fund projects to remove lead pipes and reduce exposure to lead from drinking water. This Lead Service Line-specific formula allows states to receive financial assistance commensurate with their need as soon as possible, furthering public health protection nationwide. To ensure that funding is used for lead service line related activities, LSLR allotments are based on need — meaning that states with more projected lead service lines receive proportionally more. 

Alongside the funding announced today, EPA is also releasing a memorandum that clarifies how states can use this and other funding to most effectively reduce exposure to lead in drinking water. Additionally, EPA has developed new outreach documents to help water systems educate their customers on drinking water issues, health impacts of lead exposure, service line ownership, and how customers can support the identification of potential lead service lines in their homes. 

The Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious initiative to remove lead pipes has already delivered significant results for families across the nation. Today’s latest funding will ensure more New Jersey families benefit from these unprecedented resources and support projects like these:  

  • In New Brunswick, New Jersey, the City and Rutgers University are actively developing a workforce program to address the community's demand for skilled operators. The collaboration addresses immediate needs and aims to become a model for other communities aspiring to secure a healthier water future. Today, the New Brunswick plant is one of the most critical water supply assets to the region’s people and its economy with 67 employees delivering an average of 130 million gallons and a maximum delivery capacity of up to 190 million gallons daily. New Brunswick is also among the 10 New Jersey communities actively engaged in the EPA's Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators program, a part of EPA's WaterTA initiative funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority is identifying, excavating and replacing lead drinking water service lines at homes with known service lines in accordance with the new Lead and Copper Rule Revisions. JCMUA is replacing lead lines with new copper service lines from the water main to the curb stop and/or the curb stop to the water meter at the building. The presence of lead service lines is a known issue in Jersey City and the JCMUA is proactively addressing this before lead poses a threat to residents’ health

To view more stories about how the unprecedented investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are transforming communities across the country, visit EPA’s Investing in America’s Water Infrastructure Story Map. To read more about some additional projects that are underway, see EPA’s recently released Quarterly Report on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funded Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF projects and explore the State Revolving Funds Public Portal.    

Today’s allotments are based on EPA’s updated 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment including an assessment of the one-time update submissions. To date, this is the best available data collected and assessed on service line materials in the United States. Later this summer, EPA will release an addendum to the 7th DWINSA Report to Congress which will include the updated lead service line projections. EPA anticipates initiating data collection, which will include information on lead service lines, for the 8th DWINSA in 2025. 

For more information, including state-by-state allotment of 2024 funding and a breakdown of EPA’s lead Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, please visit EPA’s Drinking Water website

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