Get the lead out: Millions of dollars headed to NY to replace aging, toxic pipes
Millions of dollars under the federal Jobs Act is now headed to New York to replace 19th century water pipes made with toxic lead materials.
City officials say 2,500 buildings in Newburgh have lead pipes running from the street to people’s homes and businesses.
“Getting the lead out once and for all will change millions of lives for the better," says Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
Maloney says $150 million has been earmarked for New York to fix aging lead pipes that could make drinking water unsafe.
“Because it’s odorless and undetectable in taste, it’s a silent and deadly killer," says Maloney.
Newburgh officials say it will help residents and small businesses who can’t afford to pay for costly repairs.
“When lead is in the water, it impacts every facet of life. You want healthy families to get clean water. You want economic development and businesses to come to Newburgh? You better have clean water," says Sen. James Skoufis.
Lead exposure is linked to behavioral and learning problems in kids. It can cause heart and reproductive problems in adults and premature birth in pregnant women.
So far, a state grant has helped Newburgh fix more than 100 homes with lead pipes.
They say this grant will cover the rest.
Officials say anyone who has paid out of pocket already can call their local representatives to apply for federal reimbursement.
Federal funds will be distributed to local municipalities by the New York state Health Department.
News 12 has been told the work to replace lead pipes statewide could begin this summer.