Thanks to a legal agreement negotiated by local advocacy organizations, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will now safely replace thousands of its lead water lines and take significant new steps toward protecting residents’ drinking water.

“The people of Pittsburgh have been drinking lead-contaminated water for far too long,” says Dimple Chaudhary, a senior attorney with NRDC.

Pittsburgh United, a coalition of labor, faith, and environmental groups, advocated for the settlement, represented by lawyers from NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project. The agreement controls how PWSA will spend nearly $50 million in 2019 to safely remove the lead service lines. Specific requirements include improving access to tap water filters; prioritizing which lines are replaced first using public health factors, like lead levels in blood tests; and increasing discounts for low-income customers on their water bill.

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