Committee Approves Loans for Lead Laterals
$550,000 loan program for any resident, regardless of income, to replace lead laterals.
Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, Jr. is pushing for the replacement of lead pipes connected to property owners’ water meters known as “laterals” with two new proposals, put forward during the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee meeting last Wednesday. “It’s about time the local government took action to address the lead crisis in our community,” he declared.
The committee voted unanimously to approve Supervisor Weishan’s resolution, authorizing a $550,000 loan program to any Milwaukee County resident, regardless of income, for lead removal. It also requires that lead remediation become a condition for the sale of county-acquired tax-foreclosed properties.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree that no level of lead contamination is safe. Milwaukee, Racine, and Watertown were among the top 10 jurisdictions with the highest rates of lead poisoning, according to a 2016 report by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. This is largely due to a high number of old housing units in these areas.
Gov. Tony Evers declared 2019 the “year of clean drinking water” in Wisconsin after taking office. More than 200,000 lead service lines are scattered across the Badger State, with some 77,000 in Milwaukee. Lead lateral removal became a key issue in the budget battle, during which Republicans struck down a proposed $40 million to address the issue statewide. Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), and others, argued that it wasn’t a fair proposal for taxpayers because too much funding would go to Milwaukee.
“I’ve been urging action on lead remediation for years, but my appeals seem to have fallen on deaf ears,” Supervisor Weishan said in the committee meeting. “With this proposal, we’re putting real money towards the problem so homeowners can replace the lead laterals to their homes.”
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.
- City Hall: Milwaukee on 70-Year Pace To Replace Lead Laterals - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 13th, 2020
- City Hall: Audit Gives Water Works High Marks - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 12th, 2020
- League of Women Voters Presents Forum on Lead Poisoning March 6 - League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County - Mar 2nd, 2020
- AG Objects to Relaxed Lead Pipe Rules - Melanie Conklin - Feb 14th, 2020
- City Hall: Former Health Director Blames Barrett - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 24th, 2019
- Statement of Bevan K. Baker - Bevan K. Baker - Dec 23rd, 2019
- Mayor Barrett Proposes $2.2 Million in Block Grant Funds for Lead Abatement - Mayor Tom Barrett - Dec 4th, 2019
- City Hall: Health Department Probe a State Matter - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 14th, 2019
- City Hall: Proposal Uses Lead Abatement Funds for Marketing - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 7th, 2019
- Op Ed: Everyone Deserves Clean Water - State Sen. Jon Erpenbach - Nov 4th, 2019
Read more about Lead Crisis here