NEW JERSEY — Members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation are demanding that the EPA immediately reconsider allocations of federal investment to remove lead from our drinking water systems, so that help can get to where it is most needed.
The Members are also asking the EPA to explain how their decision was made and how the agency will avoid repeating this outcome.
According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Jersey will receive only $138 per lead service line — the second lowest amount of investment in the entire nation — while other states are set to receive more than $6,000, $7,000, or even $10,000 per lead service line.
The letter is signed by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Donald Norcross (NJ-1), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-7).
“We were shocked to learn that the $15 billion in new investment Congress approved in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill last year to remove lead from drinking water systems nationwide is being allocated without adequate consideration for the quantity of lead service lines (LSL) in each state,” the Members wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Jersey will receive only $138 per LSL, the second lowest amount of investment in the entire nation, while Nevada will receive $6,303 per LSL, Alaska will receive $7,441 per LSL, and Hawaii will receive an unbelievable $10,098 per LSL. This absurd disparity could result in many of the most at-risk communities being left out of mitigation efforts entirely, and it is completely unacceptable. It is hard to imagine the process that led to this allocation, but clearly it was faulty and must be wholly reworked to ensure that the funds reach the recipients that Congress intended.”
“We demand that you immediately reconsider these allocations and send these funds where they are needed most. We also ask that you explain how this inexplicable decision was made and how your agency plans to avoid repeating this outcome,” the members said.