EPA Chief, Officials Tour Area Targeted for $1.6M Lead Pipe Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan visited a West Side neighborhood Tuesday that is expected to receive $1.6 million to replace lead pipes this summer. 

The EPA chief was joined by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown to tour the community and meet residents. 

“There are more than 600,000 lead service lines in Ohio today, and between 6-10 million nationwide,” Regan said in a news release following the event. “Thanks to the leadership of Senator Brown, Congressman Ryan and President Biden, Ohio will see more than $71 million to address pollution from lead pipes under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2022 alone. I look forward to working with Ohio’s leaders to ensure these dollars get to communities that need it most, in a quick, effective and equitable way.”

The project will be funded by money from the federal American Rescue Plan and is expected to benefit more than 90 homes on the West Side. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will also provide additional funds to strengthen drinking water infrastructure and replace lead pipes in Ohio and throughout the country.

“Because of the work we did in the American Rescue Plan, residents in this neighborhood are going to finally have new, safe pipes. Families will have peace of mind that the water coming out of the faucet is safe for their children to drink, and more workers will have jobs doing the installation work,” Sen. Brown, D-Ohio, said in the release. 

Ernest “Bill” Kuhley meets with EPA Administrator Michael Regan, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. (Image courtesy of Sen. Brown’s office)

“And more projects like this are on their way because of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, all done by American workers using American-made materials,” he continued. Buy America provisions Brown secured in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ensure lead pipe replacement projects funded by the infrastructure law will be done using American-made materials. 

“We cannot expect to compete with the rest of the world when our kids are being poisoned by the water they drink at home and in their schools,” U.S. Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said. “With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re getting lead out of our pipes and making sure that every Ohioan has clean water and the opportunity to thrive in their communities, no matter their ZIP code.”  

The investment in lead line replacement is needed to ensure future generations are healthy and strong, Mayor Brown said. 

“This impact will affect families who may have underlying health issues. We must continue to thrive not survive while coming out of a global pandemic,” he said. 

Pictured at top: EPA Administrator Michael Regan, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown tour a West Side neighborhood Tuesday. (Image courtesy of Sen. Brown’s office)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.