- The Environmental Protetion Agency will provide Florida with $376,162,000 in funding for infrastructure upgrades to address the state’s 1,159,300 lead service lines that deliver potable water.
- The funding comes as part of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, with Florida receiving the second-highest level of funding nationwide, trailing only California.
- Federal agencies approximate that 10 million American households connect to water through potentially hazardous and lead-ridden piping
The White House announced this week that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide Florida with $376,162,000 for infrastructure upgrades as analysis results revealed the state to have the highest number of drinking water lead service lines in the United States.
The funding comes as part of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The allotments to states were based upon the results of EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, conducted every four years, which found Florida to utilize 1,159,300 lead lines to deliver pottable water.
The figures represents a 12.62 percent share of all water transportation systems in Florida and serves as an outlier in comparison to the 49 other states across the nation.
“The over $376 million coming to Florida through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund will make a big difference in our state,” said U.S. Rep. Darren Soto. In places like East Orlando, St. Cloud, and Poinciana, these investments from the Infrastructure Law are very necessary and will help us protect current and future generations from water contamination.”
Florida will receive the second-highest level of funding nationwide, trailing only California, in an attempt to rapidly replace water infrastructure systems. Exposure to lead through drinking water can cause a wide range of health problems, including damage to the brain and nervous system, developmental delays in children, and fertility issues. Ingesting lead can also cause anemia, high blood pressure, and damage to the kidneys.
As President Joe Biden sets ambitions to eliminate all active lead pipe systems across the country, federal agencies approximate that 10 million American households connect to water through potentially hazardous and lead-ridden piping.
“Clean, safe drinking water is critical to all communities,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “Pouring nearly $377 million into Florida’s dilapidated water systems ensures healthier communities [and] a stronger economy for our children and grandchildren.”
It is currently unclear whether state officials plan to target specific regions of the state that have a higher concentration of lead pipes or broadly replace outdated infrastructure statewide. An attempt to reach the Florida Department of Environmental Protection was not immediately answered.