Over 9 million homes and businesses across the United States get their water through lead pipes. It’s time to #GetTheLeadOut.

On January 27, 2023, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the founding of the Biden-Harris Get the Lead Out Partnership, a network of communities and organizations that have committed to seven principles that will hasten and guide the replacement of harmful lead water pipes across the United States. Key principles call for accelerating the full replacement of lead pipes from street to house, prioritizing replacements in overburdened and underserved communities, and ensuring that residents get new water lines without added financial burdens.

The 100+ initial partners include cities and county water utilities, states, national water associations representing rural communities and large cities, and nongovernmental organizations, including EDF. During a leadership roundtable with a group of mayors and these founding partners, Vice President Harris emphasized the administration’s commitment to supporting full replacement of all lead pipes within 10 years.

Everyone needs their lead pipes replaced, not just those who can afford it

Funding for lead pipe replacements is available through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which President Biden signed into law in November 2021. By 2026, more than $15 billion will flow to states and local water utilities—bringing both safer drinking water to millions of Americans and jobs for workers in affected communities.

EPA estimates that 9 million lead pipes currently deliver drinking water into homes and businesses across the United States—putting millions at risk for devastating harms, including permanent neurological damage and coronary heart disease.

Children, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color, experience the greatest burden from lead exposure. This is due to many factors, including discriminatory practices in housing that have left communities of color with greater poverty and substandard housing.

Policy resources

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Background resources

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  1. "Blood Lead Levels in Children Aged 1–5 Years — United States, 1999–2010," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. EPA’s proposed Lead and Copper Rule revisions estimate 9,267,910 LSLs in use on the rule’s effective date in 2023. See Exhibits 4-10 in EPA’s Economic Analysis.