During Wilmington Campaign Stop, President Biden Announces $3 Billion to Replace Lead Pipes Around the Country

Wilmington, NC — While on the campaign trail in North Carolina yesterday, President Biden announced $3 billion in funding from his clean energy plan to replace lead pipes around the country. President Biden is aiming to replace all lead pipes in the United States in the next decade, a major step towards improving the health of communities across the United States, especially communities of color that are more likely to receive water through lead pipes. 

An estimated nine million homes, schools, and businesses still receive water through lead pipes. Lead in drinking water is especially toxic for children, and even low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.  

“For far too long, communities of color and under-resourced communities across the country have been forced to suffer the devastating consequences of lead in drinking water,” said Climate Power’s Interim States Managing Director André Crombie. “The Biden administration is taking vital, concrete steps to invest in these communities and right historical wrongs. All Americans deserve clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. The president’s clean energy plan is helping us hold ourselves to a higher standard of environmental justice as a nation. This announcement couldn’t come soon enough.” 

A 2019 report found that people of color in North Carolina, particularly Black and Native American residents, are dying at younger ages compared with white residents, with water quality emerging as a key contributor to health declines in these communities. Some Black communities in North Carolina were historically excluded from the municipal water supply, and remain so today. The $3 billion in funding announced yesterday will go a long way towards improving the water quality for North Carolinians and people around the country.