Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—Lead Service Line Replacements

Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe, and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate

US EPA Region 5

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was enacted at the end of 2021—formally called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)—will invest $15 billion to remove and replace lead service lines around the country. There is also an additional $11.7 billion in the law that can be spent on any drinking water infrastructure priority, including removal of lead service lines if a state decides to spend the funds on that. A lead service line is the pipe that runs from a water main in the street to a residence or other building. These lead pipes threaten the health of tens of millions of Americans, especially children and people residing in low-income communities, because the lead can leach or flake off and enter the drinking water.

The mighty investment in the IIJA will protect our families’ health and create good living-wage jobs for tens of thousands of Americans. We must ensure that these funds, especially grants, fully remove lead service lines and are prioritized to help the disadvantaged communities that need it most.

To this end, NRDC and its partners have compiled various resources to assist community residents, water systems, and states to establish gold-standard lead service line replacement programs.