MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris touted the removal and replacement of lead pipes during a Monday stop in Wisconsin, where she highlighted efforts to update aging infrastructure across the country.
Watch Harris’ remarks in the player above.
Harris promoted the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill during her stop in Milwaukee where she was joined by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Rep. American Gwen Moore.
Harris met with community and health leaders through the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP program in west Milwaukee.
The Biden administration last month announced a plan to replace all lead pipes within the next decade. However, Congress has approved $15 billion for replacing lead service lines in the infrastructure bill, about a third less than the White House and water experts say it will. would cost to replace them nationwide.
Of that amount, $48 million is being sent to Wisconsin as part of the $3 billion that will be paid out to states this year, the EPA previously announced. In Milwaukee alone, the largest city in Wisconsin, the cost of replacing lead pipes on all public and private properties is estimated at $800 million.
The White House estimates that between 6 and 10 million American homes and 400,000 schools get water through lead service lines, which connect buildings to the main water line and can leach neurotoxin particles into drinking water and potentially cause serious developmental and neurological harm – especially when consumed by children. In recent years, the risks facing cities with lead service lines have been highlighted, especially after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Harris’ visit to Wisconsin is his last cross-country trip to promote the infrastructure law. During his only previous stop in Wisconsin in May, Harris touted clean energy labs on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.