Mayor Lombardi Receives EPA Childrens Health Award

City of North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi

Water utilities have reduced lead exposure by installing corrosion control treatments. In recent years, public health and regulatory agencies have focused on replacing lead service lines to reduce lead exposure in drinking water which, in children, can result in neurological and developmental damage. This means addressing complex issues that require the involvement of the community and significant cost. Most lead service lines are owned partially by the water utility and partially by property owners.

North Providence, with mostly moderate to low income families, has more than 500 lead service lines. Under the leadership of Mayor Charles Lombardi, the city has leveraged federal HUD funding through the state Office of Housing and Community Development. These funds, which municipalities typically invest in low income neighborhoods, in North Providence were used creatively to get $270,000 to replace privately-owned lead service lines. The city will replace the publicly-owned lead service line for every private line replaced. North Providence knocked on doors to get residents to participate. This led to replacing about 40 lead service lines. Then the city held public forums and now plans to replace about 100 lines in 2018. Under Lombardi’s vision, a creative solution was found and important public health changes made. Challenged by daunting numbers of lead pipes, North Providence is an inspiration to other communities wanting to eliminate lead pipes and protect their children.

Original Article Located on the Environmental Protection Agencies Website

Video of the ceremony on YouTube

   

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