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$50B investment will address contaminants in US drinking water, EPA announces

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On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced funding that U.S. states, tribes and territories will receive in 2022 through the Biden administration’s bipartisan infrastructure law to address key challenges such as lead in drinking water and other pollution.

According to the EPA, the funding, provided through the EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, “creates jobs while upgrading America’s aging water infrastructure.”

B A letter sent to the governors on ThursdayEPA Director Michael Reagan has encouraged states to maximize the impact of water funding from the law to “resolve disproportionate environmental burdens in historically disadvantaged communities across the state.”

Related: After the drinking water crisis, Newark wins the war with lead

“Today I announce the funding of @EPA’s two-party infrastructure law from 2022 – $ 50 billion – for states, tribes and territories to upgrade water infrastructure and improve drinking water,” Reagan wrote on Twitter. “More importantly, I call on states to prioritize these resources in underprivileged communities.”

According to Reagan, the EPA will allocate $ 7.4 billion by 2022, with nearly half of the funding available as key grants or forgiveness loans that will remove barriers to investing in vital water infrastructure in underserved communities across rural America and urban centers.

The allocation for 2022 is the first of five years of EPA SRF funding that countries will receive through the infrastructure deal.

“As leaders, we must seize this moment. Billions of dollars are about to start flowing to countries and it is critical that the EPA partners with countries, tribes and territories to ensure that the benefits of these investments are provided in the most equitable way.” Reagan continued to be governor.

Related: What’s in your tap water? Look for a zip code to see pollutants

Reagan recently completed a “Journey to Justice” tour across the southern United States to hear from families and supporters about struggles with exposure to water pollution in communities.

The investment announcement also comes in the wake of a study published last month that reveals that toxic chemicals that cause cancer are consumed unknowingly by millions of Americans when they consume tap water.

The Environmental Working Group has published 2021 “The state of American drinking water“In November.

“For too many Americans, opening the taps to a glass of water is like pouring a cocktail of chemicals,” the group said in its report. To be insecure, especially in low-income and underprivileged communities. “

Researchers released their “tap water database” after collecting mandatory test reports from 2014 to 2019 produced by 50,000 water services from all 50 states and Washington DC.

Related: Many Americans swallow a “cocktail” of toxic chemicals from drinking water, a study says

They said their study revealed that when some Americans drink a glass of tap water, they also consume “a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants associated with cancer, brain and nervous system damage, fertility problems, hormonal disorders and other health damages.”

Researchers believe these risks increase in low-income communities with a higher population of black and Hispanic Americans.

The study authors said large-scale federal funding is needed to improve the country’s drinking water as well as replace lead pipes.

“There are challenges when it comes to providing safe drinking water to millions of families who do not currently have one,” the researchers continued. “But they can be resolved when the public and our elected officials unite around a common goal: the right of every American, regardless of race, region or income, to have clean water.”

The $ 1 trillion infrastructure plan was signed into law last month and included $ 15 billion to replace lead pipes.

Related: Biden signs $ 1T infrastructure bill while Congress debates climate and social bill

Federal regulations over the years have banned the use of lead in plumbing systems, but some of the pipes and service lines built before the rules were enacted have not yet been replaced. The White House said lead pipes continue to serve some 400,000 schools and child care centers and 6 million to 10 million homes.

Researchers cited the water crisis in Flint, Michigan as an example of the issue.

In 2014 and 2015, Flint’s waters were drawn from the Flint River, a money-saving decision made by state-appointed executives who ran the ailing city. The highly corrosive water was not properly treated before flowing through aging pipes to about 100,000 residents, causing lead to be flushed from old pipes.

Related: Only a Michigan official fired in the Flint water crisis was a ‘goat to public hell,’ the arbitrator states

The catastrophe at Rob-Flint was described as environmental racism. In 2016, a task force was appointed by the then government. Rick Snyder, a Republican, said his environmental agency was misapplying lead and copper laws and “caused this crisis to happen.”

Flint’s water quality has greatly improved after returning to regional water supply and replacing thousands of lead or steel service lines. Nine people, including Snyder, were charged with crimes in January following a new investigation. Their bags are hanging and standing.

The AP news agency and Chris Williams contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.

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