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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Senate approves Leader McCaffrey’s bill to address lead pipes
STATE HOUSE – The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation sponsored by Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) to address lead pipes in Rhode Island’s water supply system.
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.
“Access to safe, lead-free drinking water should never depend on someone’s ZIP code or economic status. No family should have to fear that their home, an environment that should be safe and nurturing, may be poisoning their children,” Leader McCaffrey said. “This important legislation will give new urgency to the replacement of antiquated, unsafe lead pipes. It will help protect the health of all Rhode Islanders. Most of all, it will address a serious threat to the well-being of our children.”
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.
Leader McCaffrey’s legislation was cosponsored by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence), Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick), Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), and Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).
Rep. David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence) has sponsored similar legislation (
) in the House of Representatives.
For more information, contact:
, Deputy Directory of Communications
State House Room 112
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request