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The bill, House File 24, was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz on May 17, 2023, allocating $240 million toward replacing lead pipes that link homes to water systems throughout the state. Its aim is to eliminate lead lines connecting public drinking water by 2033.
Annika Bankston, director of the Minneapolis Division of Water Treatment and Distribution Services, told MPR News that Minneapolis contains approximately 47,000 private lead service lines alone, estimating their replacement cost around $350 million.
The Minnesota Department of Health and the University of Minnesota reported in 2019 that the cost to remove lead from drinking water would be more than $4 billion, with a later 2022 report from the Department finding more than 100,000 lead pipes in Minnesota. Even low levels of exposure to lead can be harmful to health, especially in children.
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- Minnesota Legislature HF 24 Status in the House for the 93rd Legislature
- Minnesota Public Radio News Walz signs $240 million lead pipe removal bill
- State of Minnesota Report estimates removing lead from drinking water could benefit state by $8 billion; State experts project $4 billion cost for removing all lead
- Centers for Disease Control Health Effects of Lead Exposure
- Minnesota Department of Health Minnesota Drinking Water Annual Report for 2022
Jayne Williamson-Lee is a freelance science journalist who is part of MinnPost’s fact briefs team.