Historic investment made to remove dangerous lead drinking water lines
Governor Walz signs nearly unanimous, bipartisan supported bill
Saint Paul, MN—Today, the governor will sign the bipartisan lead drinking water replacement bill. The bill, HF 24, passed the Minnesota House with unanimous support on April 21 and the Senate on May 9th with bipartisan and near unanimous support (62/2).
The bill dedicates $240 million to the inventory and replacement of dangerous lead service lines and creates a goal to replace all lead pipes in the next ten years. It’s a momentous step toward protecting Minnesota kids from toxic lead exposure. Additional state and federal funding will be needed, as the state estimates it will cost nearly $800 million to find and replace all lead service lines.
Several state legislators, including the chief authors of this year's bill, have been working on state funding for lead line removal since 2019 after the Department of Health released a report highlighting the health risks of drinking water from lead pipes. After several years of funding attempts, the governor and legislative leaders announced this year that the budget targets would include $240 million for inventory and replacement of lead lines. The bill signed into law today is one of the largest investments in lead line replacement ever made by a single state and signals the governor and legislature’s commitment to making Minnesota the best place to raise a family.
“In the land of 10,000 lakes, we understand the importance of clean water and know clean water starts with safe drinking water. The nearly unanimous bipartisan legislative support for the lead drinking water replacement bill is a testament to Minnesotans' shared value of safe, clean water,” said Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota. “We applaud Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, Chief Authors Representative Sydney Jordan, and Senator Jen McEwen for their commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of Minnesota children.”
Conservation Minnesota is a nonprofit organization committed to protecting people and places from the adverse impacts of pollution and climate change while ensuring that everyone who calls Minnesota home has access to the Great Outdoors and opportunities to enjoy it.