U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Press Release

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Partnership with 10 Wisconsin Communities to Accelerate Lead Service Line Replacement as Part of Investing in America Agenda

New partnership will help communities access funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for lead service line removal and replacement

By - Nov 2nd, 2023 04:07 pm

WASHINGTON (November 2, 2023) – Today in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox announced a partnership with the State of Wisconsin to assist 10 communities in accelerating progress toward lead service line identification and replacement, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to deliver clean drinking water to families and children and EPA’s “Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators” initiative. This initiative, which is in partnership with the Department of Labor and Wisconsin, will work to provide targeted technical assistance services to help underserved communities reduce exposure to lead in drinking water and to protect health of Wisconsin children and families. Together, the 10 Wisconsin communities represent areas where approximately 30 percent of all lead service lines are located in the state.

“For too long, communities across America have worried about whether they’re being exposed to lead from their drinking water,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “The partnership announced today in Wisconsin is a key step toward keeping communities safe from lead. Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the EPA is dedicating $15 billion in funding to get the lead out of drinking water systems—once and for all.”

EPA and the State of Wisconsin are working together with 10 communities – Beloit, Frederic, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Oshkosh, Racine, Superior, Wausau, West Allis, and Wisconsin Rapids – to provide the assistance they need to identify lead pipes, remove them, and access Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds needed for the work.

Through the Accelerators, EPA provides hands-on support to guide communities through the process of lead service line removals, from start to finish. This includes support in developing lead service line replacement plans, conducting inventories to identify lead pipes, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. As a result, more communities will be able to access their fair share of federal funds to secure a lead-free future.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law dedicates $50 billion to upgrade and modernize drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure across America. To ensure every community can access their fair share of this unprecedented investment, EPA has established its WaterTA (Technical Assistance) initiative to ensure any community wanting to access these resources has an opportunity to do so.

“Every family in Wisconsin should have the peace of mind that the water coming out of their faucet is safe, and with today’s announcement we are one step closer to that being a reality,” said Senator Baldwin. “I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make long overdue investments in our state’s drinking water infrastructure and help the communities that have been left behind get the clean water they deserve. I am thrilled that these ten Wisconsin communities will be able to better protect our children and replace dangerous lead pipes faster, using American-made products installed by American workers.”

“There is no safe level of lead exposure, especially for our kids, and my administration is committed to our continued work of ensuring every Wisconsinite can trust that the water coming from their tap is healthy, safe, and free of contaminants,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. “We have been hard at work to partner with local communities to do just that, and this additional support thanks to our partners at the federal government will accelerate our efforts to build a healthier, cleaner Wisconsin for all.”

“Replacing lead service lines is a crucial step towards improving the health of our drinking water resources in Wisconsin,” said DNR Deputy Secretary Steven Little. “People expect safe drinking water when they turn on their faucets, and this program is helping make that a reality for even more Wisconsinites.”

“The city requires continued support from the federal government in order to remove lead pipes throughout the water system. This investment is part of our commitment to ensuring residents have safe, clean drinking water,” said Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian. “These programs provide resources to communities and residents that might not otherwise have access to or the financial means to undertake lead service line replacements. I urge all eligible residents to take advantage of this important program.  This funding marks an ambitious federal effort to ensure lead pipes are no longer used for drinking water, and I applaud that effort.”

“Accelerating the City of Wisconsin Rapids’ efforts to replace lead service lines is essential for securing a safe and healthy future for our community,” said Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Shane Blaser. “This program will have an immediate and lasting impact because the evidence is clear: any level of lead exposure is unsafe. Thank you to the Wisconsin Rapids Water Works and Lighting Commission for securing this opportunity for our community. And thank you to the federal government for supporting this urgent work.”

“Having safe drinking water is an important resource for any community that we all take for granted,” said West Allis Mayor Dan Devine. “The City of West Allis has made vital strides to ensure the quality of our water is safe, but our partnership with the EPA and their additional federal resources will allow us to implement a plan to address the issue, accelerate our lead replacement line process, and ensure safe drinking water for children and families.”

“We know that lead in our water supply can have negative impacts, particularly for very young children,” said Racine Mayor Cory Mason. “I applaud the Biden Administration and the EPA for making these resources available so more residents can be assured of safe drinking water.”

“Clean, safe drinking water is fundamental to a thriving community,” said Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels. “As part of the Lead Service Line Accelerator initiative, Manitowoc is building up and improving our community while making sure when residents turn on the tap, safe water comes out. By partnering with EPA on this program, we are protecting generations to come.”

“We are all aware of the paramount importance of lead line replacement in our communities. The health and well-being of our residents are our top priorities, and we are committed to ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water for all,” said Superior Mayor Jim Paine. “We extend our sincere gratitude to the EPA for their invaluable leadership on this critical issue, as we work together to address and resolve the challenges associated with lead infrastructure. Together, we are safeguarding the future health of our city and its residents.”

“I was so inspired by what I heard and the people I met at the White House’s Lead Pipes Summit in January that it didn’t take long before we decided to fast-track the City of Wausau’s lead service line replacement schedule from fifteen years down to five years – starting next week,” said Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg. “That’s only possible because of the once in a generation funding through the Biden-Harris Administration and our innovative community-based public private partnership approach with Community Infrastructure Partners.”

“All people deserve access to safe, quality drinking water, regardless of socioeconomic status,” said Beloit City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos. “We are thrilled to participate in the EPA’s Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerator Project to help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of 100% lead service line replacement and removal. As we work to protect the health and wellness of our residents, we look forward to leading with other Wisconsin communities in this initiative.”

“The City of Oshkosh is honored to be selected as one of the ten communities from Wisconsin to be included in this initiative. Everyone deserves access to safe and reliable drinking water, and we look forward to partnering with EPA and other agencies to accomplish the goal of making our water lead-free,” said Oshkosh City Manager Mark Rohloff. “The Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerator program will allow us to expand our existing efforts by providing additional resources and promoting innovative approaches to address the challenges of the work to be done.  We hope that our experience will help advance the development of the program so that other communities across our state, and our nation, can benefit from it as well.”

In January, Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to 100% lead service line removal. The initiative, in partnership with the Department of Labor, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, is addressing existing barriers and accelerating progress towards lead service line identification and replacement. Communities interested in receiving WaterTA support for infrastructure projects can apply online.


The science is clear that there is no safe level of lead exposure. EPA is working with participating states to accelerate lead service line projects by supporting the development of community engagement plan, lead service line inventories, lead service line replacement plans, and funding applications.

EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Needs and Assessment Survey projects a national total of 9.2 million lead services lines across the country. The Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan outlines President Biden’s vision of lead-free water systems, and dedicated funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will greatly advance the goal of replacing 100% of lead service lines.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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