Florida has the most lead pipes in the U.S. and is getting $376 million for drinking water upgrades
Florida has emerged as the state with the most lead service lines in the nation with 1,159,300, according to survey results recently released by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The White House announced Tuesday it will provide $6.5 billion for drinking water infrastructure upgrades for all states across the country, including tribes and territories, in fiscal 2023.
The funding is through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Joe Biden in 2021.
Florida will get $376,162,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged with disbursing the funds — $254,788,000 of which will go toward lead pipe removal for 2023.
It comes as Florida has emerged as the state with the most lead service lines in the nation with 1,159,300, according to survey results recently released by the EPA.
Health and food expert Erik Olson with the Natural Resources Defense Council told the Associated Press that Florida's latest figure is “a big surprise."
Back in 2021, the state had told his group it doesn't track lead service lines, so the NRDC estimated about 200,000 lead service lines were in Florida at the time.
Olson also told the AP that the larger Florida number is puzzling because lead pipes were most frequently installed in the decades before Florida's population rapidly grew. He added that his group is looking forward to an explanation.