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Biden To Announce National $3B Lead Pipe Replacement Project In Wilmington Visit

By Audrey Elsberry, posted May 2, 2024
President Joe Biden is slated to visit Wilmington today to announce $3 billion in funding to replace toxic lead pipes and deliver clean drinking water to communities nationwide, according to a White House release.
 
Biden’s announcement is planned to take place at the Wilmington Convention Center, with remarks beginning at 4:30 p.m. The event is not open to the public.

The EPA’s $3 billion investment in lead pipe replacement is part of $15 billion in funds dedicated to replacing lead pipes nationwide through Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to the release.
 
In Wilmington, Biden is expected to announce that $76 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for lead pipe replacement would go to North Carolina, according to the announcement.

"(The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority) is likely to apply for a share of the funds announced today to complete the replacement of older service lines," Vaughn Hagerty, CFPUA's public information officer told the Business Journal.

Biden also plans to meet with faculty and students from a Wilmington school that replaced a water fountain with high levels of lead with funding from the American Rescue Plan.

More than 9 million buildings in the country receive water through lead pipes, according to the White House announcement. The pipes expose those drinking the water to lead exposure, which can harm brain development in children and damage kidneys, among other health detriments. The White House announcement said Biden has committed to replacing every lead pipe in the country within 10 years.
 
North Carolina has about 300,000 lead pipes, as estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Wilmington has already received over $4 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to identify and replace 325 lead pipes. Biden is set to announce Thursday that the first of these replacements is now underway.
 
Biden's $3 billion Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, which is part of his Investing in America agenda, would be administered through the EPA, which announced a $3 billion Clean Ports Program in Wilmington in February. The agency returned to the Cape Fear River basin in April to announce its first national regulation on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
 
Check back later for updates about Biden's stop in Wilmington.
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