The EPA reported this week that more than 647,500 water pipes in the state, or 7% of them, are thought to be made of lead in its 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. The report claims that replacing Texas’ lead pipes over the next 20 years might cost more than $61 million.
Since lead is a neurotoxin that may harm the brain and result in lasting developmental and behavioral issues in children, lead pipes are hazardous, especially for young children.
To replace all of the lead pipes in the nation would cost more than $625 billion in infrastructure upgrades, a 32% increase over the EPA’s last study. The EPA is required to carry out research and evaluation at least every four years under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
According to the study, each state is legally required to get a minimum allocation of 1 percent of the entire amount of funds available for the renovations. The EPA recently announced that it will provide Texas with more than $414 million for infrastructure upgrades.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Some 9.2 million lead pipes carry water into homes across the U.S., with more in Florida than any other state, according to a new Environmental Protection Agency survey that will dictate how billions of dollars to find and replace those pipes are spent. https://t.co/UXxF5dAhBD
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 5, 2023
Texas Among States With Most Lead Pipes, But Infrastructure Investment Planned
According to the research, Texas has the fewest lead-based lines nationwide, followed by Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
“Every community deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan as he announced the survey results. “Thanks to President Biden’s infrastructure investments, we have an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize America’s drinking water systems (and) support the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of removing 100 percent of lead pipes across our country.”
While the latest analysis demonstrates the startling extent of the problem in the state, lead contamination of Houston’s water system is not a recent issue.
Lead and other harmful substances have been identified in the water, paint, and soil of Houston’s Fifth Ward, one local neighborhood where inhabitants have been impacted. Several cancer clusters have previously been reported in Houston’s Fifth Ward, a neighborhood that is mostly Black and Latino. Sandra Edwards, a local activist, has been collaborating with a team of environmentalists and academic researchers to assess the extent of the Fifth Ward issue and launch awareness campaigns that she thinks will eventually lead to its remediation.
After discovering that at least one water tap in 84 percent of HISD campuses had the lead, the Houston Independent School District announced last year that it will collaborate with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to test and improve its drinking water.
According to studies, childhood exposure to lead may have a negative impact on adult personalities. In general, lead poisoning may have negative effects on learning, attention span, and physical health.
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