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1/6/2023 Rep. O’Brien introduces lead pipe replacement bill
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) introduced legislation (2023-H 5007) to address lead pipes in Rhode Island’s water supply system.

“The science is very clear about the dangers that lead pipes pose to our health, particularly so for our children, but unfortunately, there are far too many lead pipes in our state that are still providing water to our residents.  This bill will quicken the timetable to having complete lead-free drinking water in our state, protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents and their children,” said Representative O’Brien.
The Lead Poisoning Prevention Act would create a lead water supply replacement program for both public and private service lines, with a requirement that all affected lines are replaced within 10 years.
Financial assistance for lead pipe replacement would be provided through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, including no-cost options for property owners. To help develop the state’s workforce, the legislation would set requirements for water suppliers and contractors to participate in apprenticeship programs.
The bill would require water suppliers to create a service line inventory to determine the existence or absence of lead within each water connection in its service area. It would also establish new notification and reporting requirements for suppliers to ensure transparency in the identification and replacement of service lines containing lead.
Additionally, the legislation would require a lead risk assessment be conducted for any home built prior to 2011 as part of any transaction involving the property. Currently, those assessments are required only for homes built prior to 1978.
The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903