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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Assembly passes President Ruggerio and Rep. O’Brien’s legislation to address lead pipes
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today passed legislation (
) sponsored by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and Rep. William W. O’Brien to address lead pipes in Rhode Island’s water supply system.
The amendment to 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.
“No family should have to worry that their home’s water supply may be poisoning their children. A home should be a safe and nurturing environment, and every family deserves access to safe, lead-free, potable drinking water,” President Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) said. “This legislation will provide new urgency, and much-needed additional resources, to this effort, helping us protect our children’s well-being and the health of all Rhode Islanders.”
“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 of our residents and their children,” said Representative O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence).
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 no later than Oct. 16, 2024, 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 bill requires 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 now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.
For more information, contact:
, Director of Communications for the Senate
State House Room 112
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request