Contact:  Hariah Hutkowski

Providing financial incentives to quickly replace lead laterals

Madison – Today, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R–Fond du Lac) thanked Governor Walker for swiftly signing the ‘Leading on Lead Bill’ that provides a funding mechanism for communities to provide financial assistance programs to replace lead service lines providing drinking water to thousands of Wisconsin homes.

Rep. Thiesfeldt stated, “I’m extremely grateful to see this bill become law, and I anticipate municipalities to immediately begin using it to help those who need to replace unsafe lead laterals.  Digging up, removing, replacing and then re-covering the new laterals is expensive and unattainable for many individuals without some assistance.  This law provides a first-in-the-nation approach to removing this health hazard and I hope other states follow suit.”

The timing of the legislation will allow local governments to begin to potentially use this new tool to replace lead laterals as early as this summer.  In order to utilize the tools created by the bill, a municipality must approve an ordinance allowing financial assistance through ratepayer money.

Thiesfeldt concluded, “Removing lead pipes from our drinking water delivery infrastructure is absolutely needed based on the health evidence.  I urge all municipalities to begin implementing programs immediately to better protect the health and welfare of thousands of Wisconsin residents, especially our children, who are most vulnerable to the negative impact of lead ingestion.”

Sen. Cowles and Rep. Thiesfeldt we co-authors of this legislation.

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