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Schumer Championed Billions In Bipartisan Infrastructure Law To Eliminate Lead Pipes And Has Already Delivered $350+ Million Specifically For Lead Pipe Removal Across NY For Communities To Tap, With Much More On The Way; Schumer Wants Communities In Capital Region To Apply Now To Accelerate Efforts To Get The Lead Out

Senator Says Homes Can Get Their Pipes Tested Now And He Will Keep Pumping In The Federal Dollars To Help Keep Burden Off The Local Taxpayer and Keep Drinking Water Safe

Schumer: Protecting Troy & Capital Region Children, Families From Dangers of Lead Poisoning Must Be Our #1 Priority

Standing at an active lead pipe replacement site in Troy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced Troy is set to receive $12.8 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, a major boost as the City now estimates it will need to replace nearly 2,800 thousand lead pipes. Schumer said this historic investment for Troy is only the start of federal funding beginning to flow from the Infrastructure Law to the Capital Region, and after he just delivered hundreds of millions more to NYS for communities to tap, he is pushing for communities to apply now to accelerate the removal of potentially toxic lead pipes and ensure the region’s families have the safe, reliable drinking water they deserve.  

“No amount of lead is safe for our children and families in Troy. It’s time we kick efforts to replace lead pipes across the City into high gear, and start removing these aging water systems to bolster the health and safety of our communities. That’s why I am proud to help deliver a whopping $12.8 million to jumpstart Troy’s lead pipe removal from the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law I championed,” said Senator Schumer. “For decades, I have been one of the loudest voices in the room on the importance of eliminating lead pipes from our communities. I just delivered hundreds of millions for New York to help places like Troy and the Capital Region accelerate lead pipe removal and am going to fight for more for Troy. We cannot wait – now is the time to get the lead out before families are exposed to this toxic metal.”

The latest federal award Schumer is announcing today from the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law includes $8.9 million in grant funding and $3.9 million via an interest free loan for lead pipe replacement, allowing Troy to make its residents safer and healthier by getting rid of hundreds of lead pipes. Schumer said this funding is vital, with a new water quality report in Troy finding drinking water samples with lead levels ten times higher than the EPA’s "action level" limit. During the EPA study, the average amount of lead out of all the samples came out to 35.4 parts per billion (ppb) in Troy, which is more than double the EPA's limit. Schumer also said Troy’s water systems are also some of the oldest in the country and date back nearly 100 years, with much of the infrastructure from the last century not upgraded. Schumer said the city’s older neighborhoods, with many homes built before the 1940s, are the most impacted, and are more likely to have lead in their water either through Water Service Lines or interior plumbing.

Schumer explained that Troy started its lead pipe replacement initiative last year with only 10% of the necessary funds, which is why this fed support is vital to kick critical lead replacement efforts into gear. Troy replaced approximately 200 lines last year with nearly $1.1 million in state funding, but more is needed to jolt replacement efforts into action. Schumer said funding should never be a barrier to keeping our communities safe and while Troy has made huge strides, this infusion of federal funding, which is on top of $500,000 from the Infrastructure Law the city has already received and millions from the American Rescue Plan, will be a gamechanger and the largest amount Troy has ever received in history for lead pipe removal.

Schumer said Troy has made great progress and has already inventoried over 50% of the city’s lead private water pipes to know the scope of what needs to be replaced. Schumer said of an estimated 12,400 total pipes in the city, approximately 2,800 are expected to be lead. The city has already verified 1,400 lead pipes, saying Troy is well ahead of the game nationally on its inventory and replacement programs with approximately 200 lines replaced this year, and even more can be accomplished with these major federal dollars. Schumer said one of the best ways to help is for residents should get their lead pipes checked to help with the City’s inventory process, which they can do by identifying the material of their water service line and submitting findings to the city. Residents can get DPU to check the material of their water service line by calling 518-237-0343.

Schumer added, “The best way to help is to make sure your pipes are tested, knowing where the pipes are is half the battle and is how the city can be best positioned to tap even more federal funding. I am fighting tooth and nail get Troy and communities all across the Capital Region the federal support they need to replace lead pipes, and I will not stop fighting until there are no more lead pipes in Troy and New York State.”

Mayor Carmella Mantello said, "No parent should fear using their tap water. I'm committed to replacing all lead pipes within four years. Thanks to Senator Chuck Schumer, the nearly $13 million grant will advance our lead pipe replacement program, a model for the region and state. I urge my fellow Trojans to get your pipes tested - let's get the lead out."

According to a report by the New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning, an estimated 1 in 5 New Yorkers may be drinking from lead service lines. New York State leads the nation in cases of children with elevated blood levels.

The senator has been leading the charge to get lead out of Upstate NY communities. Just this month, Schumer announced New York would be receiving over $129 million for lead pipe replacement, bringing the total funding for NY to over $350 million for lead pipe removal, and he continues pushing for places like Troy to receive the millions in fed dollars needed to increase access to safe and clean water. Schumer said that while Troy has started to address the lead pipes problem, more fed funding is needed so that Troy can remove every single lead pipe which is why he is pushing for Troy and other communities across the Capital Region to inventory and apply for this historic once in a generation funding.   

Schumer’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act makes the single-largest investment ever in U.S. water infrastructure. In total, the bill includes over $50 billion for the EPA’s highly successful water infrastructure programs, including $15 billion specifically for Lead Service Line Replacements (LSLR).  Schumer also fought to include billions for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) LSLR. The DWSRF provides below-market rate loans and grants to fund water infrastructure improvements in municipalities across the state. Importantly, Schumer fought for a lower state cost share for the early years of this funding and for 49% of the money to be administered as grants and completely forgivable loans, ensuring New Yorkers can get the most out of this funding. Earlier this year, New York received $420 million from the EPA for New York’s Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds to help modernize and clean the state’s water systems. As of this month, total funding for NYS’s BIL water infrastructure investments rise to well over $1.2 billion, with $358,437,000 of that funding specifically for LSLR.