PWSA - Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

02/20/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/20/2024 16:03

Vice President, EPA Administrator Return to Pittsburgh, Highlight PWSA's Commitment to Protecting Water Quality

Visit highlight's PWSA Utilization of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill dollars
Vice President Kamala Harris visits PWSA job site where crews removed lead service line in the Elliott neighborhood located in the West End of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA - The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) was recognized for its quick and efficient use of federal infrastructure dollars to remove the risk of lead in drinking water during Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan's visit to Pittsburgh Tuesday. Their visit centered the importance of reliable, safe drinking water and the impact the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has had on communities across the nation who are investing in water infrastructure.

The delegation visited a PWSA lead service line replacement site in Elliott for an intimate look at how lead pipes are removed from our drinking water system. Vice President Harris also spoke at the Kingsley Association where, in nearby neighborhoods, PWSA has replaced hundreds of lead service lines, delivering on our mission to protect public health in the communities we serve.

"Access to clean water is an infrastructure and public health matter, which is why the Biden Administration has prioritized this issue to ensure people have access to what they need to be healthy regardless of how much money they have in their back pocket," said Vice President Kamala Harris during her remarks at the Kingsley Association.

Since PWSA began its effort to remove the risk of lead in drinking water in 2016, it has replaced more than 10,800 public and over 7,600 private lead service lines. There is no safe level of lead in drinking water, so PWSA's aggressive lead service line replacement program is the most effective approach to protecting water quality now, and for future generations. With years of experience, PWSA has been recognized as an industry leader in lead pipe remediation, consulting with water utilities and governments across the country on best-practices for their programs.

"We thank Vice President Harris and EPA Administrator Regan for their continued acknowledgement of the progress PWSA is making to improve public health in Pittsburgh," said PWSA CEO Will Pickering. "Federal funding has allowed us to accelerate the pace of replacements and reduce the burden placed on our ratepayers for this costly construction endeavor," he said.

To date, PWSA has received over $43 million in grants and over $23 million in low interest loans from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill for this essential work. Coupled with the tens of millions received in state funding since 2017, we can expedite the replacement of lead service lines and are more than halfway to our goal of replacing all lead pipes by 2026. Utilizing these funds while they are available has been a top priority for PWSA, as grant money allows for work to be done at no direct cost to our customers, and low interest loans allow for millions in savings over time compared to traditional municipal bonds.

To see if you have a lead line, learn more about PWSA lead remediation programs, and tap into resources like lead test kits and filters, visit lead.pgh2o.com.

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