Biden Appeals to North Carolina Voters, Announces Another $3 Billion to Replace Lead Pipes

A total of $15 billion has been allocated to the nation-wide project through the president’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

President Joe Biden appeared in Wilmington, North Carolina, on May 2 to announce an additional $3 billion for his administration’s ambitious plan to replace all of the nation’s lead pipes in the name of providing clean drinking water to everybody in the state and beyond.

“There’s no–no—safe level of lead exposure. None,” he said. “The only way forward is to replace every lead service line that connects every American to clean water. That’s why Kamala and I are making sure the administration is the first ever to set out to do it, and we’re going to get it done.”

While lead pipes are durable and don’t rust, he said, they leach poisonous toxins into the water, which can cause children brain damage and kidney problems, among other health risks.

President Biden was joined by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Michael Regan, who told members of the press on Air Force One that the additional $3 billion would be the third of five planned installments of investments and grants provided through the president’s bipartisan infrastructure law. A total of $15 billion was allocated, and $9 billion of that has already been distributed.

President Biden previously pledged that 100 percent of lead pipes would be removed, and Mr. Regan told members of the press that he sees that goal being completed within a 10-year window thanks, in part, to the $15 billion as well as the training, technical assistance, and regulatory action being taken by the EPA.

In his speech, the president shared that there are 9 million lead service lines that connect water mains to homes, schools, daycare centers, and businesses, and 300,000 of them are in North Carolina. However, the EPA administrator, during his time with the press, was unable to provide any specific data on how much has been removed, $9 billion later.

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The president announced that the extra $3 billion would bring the total funding specifically for North Carolina to $250 million, promising “nearly half of the funding” would go to disadvantaged communities and replace 300 lead pipe service lines specifically in Wilmington, North Carolina.

He then praised the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, for dedicating $2 billion from the American Rescue Plan to clean water projects such as removing lead pipes and implementing technologies to sanitize storm and wastewater and connect thousands of homes to clean tap water “for the first time.”

Staying on the topic of water, he transitioned to “forever chemicals” that he said are now seriously affecting Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the Cape Fear Watershed, and the crowd cheered as he announced his administration was allocating an additional $9 billion to eradicate forever chemicals from the water.

The president also touched on other ways his administration has contributed to North Carolina, including the funding of a rail line from Raleigh to Richmond and federal investment in affordable high-speed internet, which, he said, has allowed 900,000 households in North Carolina to save $550 million in internet bills.

Then, he criticized the Republicans in the legislature for failing to renew that internet funding and for voting against the American Rescue Plan and the infrastructure legislation. He also attacked former President Trump for his environmental record.

“His administration rolled back wetland protections to make it easier to pollute our water supply,” President Biden said. “They gave mining companies wide leeway to contaminate our groundwater. They slashed the Environmental Protection Agency budget and eliminated important programs that guaranteed clean water. At the same time, he and his MAGA allies in Congress were happy to give the very superrich a $2 trillion tax cut.”

North Carolina’s 16 electoral votes went to President Donald Trump in 2020. Mr. Cooper is termed out, and voters will choose between former Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein or current Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson this November.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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