Science Policy
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American Rescue Plan Funding: A Playbook for Efficiently Getting the Lead Out

08.06.21 | 1 min read | Text by Ian Robinson & Brig. Gen. (ret.) Michael McDaniel


Lead is a neurotoxin that continues to harm communities across the country. Though new uses of lead in paint, gasoline, and pipes have been banned for several decades, lead in legacy products and materials remains in communities, posing an ongoing threat to human and economic development. Anywhere from 6 to 10 million residential lead service lines (LSLs), for instance, are still in use nationwide.

Funding included in American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant programs gives cities and states the opportunity to finally eradicate lead contamination in water lines. These steps outlined in this memo (and summarized in the figure below) represent a data- driven approach to rid American communities of the pernicious effects of lead contamination in water systems. This approach builds on research from the University of Michigan and subsequent implementation by BlueConduit in more than 50 cities in the United States and Canada.