Mayor Neeley gives congressional briefing highlighting importance of replacing lead pipes nationwide

FLINT, Michigan—Mayor Sheldon Neeley today highlighted for members of Congress the importance of replacing lead pipes nationwide. The congressional briefing came the morning after President Biden proposed the replacement of 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.

Mayor Neeley spoke to members of Congress on behalf of the Mayor’s Commission on Water Equity, which also has outlined a series of recommended investments to protect communities from lead exposure.

“We are asking for high-minded legislation that will protect all families and all communities from lead exposure,” Mayor Neeley said. “We know the dangers and appreciate seeing President Biden provide clear leadership on this important issue. Lead service lines should be replaced nationwide, and the City of Flint will be a lighthouse of hope for all communities that this monumental effort can be and will be successful.”

In his address to Congress on Wednesday, President Biden proposed the replacement of all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines as part of his proposed American Jobs Plan, a wide-reaching infrastructure repair program that President Biden called the largest jobs plan since World War II. It would also modernize roads, airports, rail lines and more.

Last week, Mayor Neeley announced the City is making significant progress in its work to repair its infrastructure in the wake of the Flint water crisis. Three major water infrastructure projects are set for completion this year, the first major infrastructure improvements to be completed as part of the local, state and federal response to the Flint water crisis.

Notably, the City will complete its own service line replacement project. This $97-million effort replaces lead and galvanized steel residential water lines from the home to the curb and the curb to the street.

As of April 9, 2021, there have been excavations of pipes at 26,819 homes and 9,941 lead and/or galvanized steel pipes have been replaced. The remaining used safe water pipe material and did not need to be replaced. There are an estimated 500 more homes left to be excavated, which the City expects to complete this summer.

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