Pittsburgh water agency to spend $50M to replace lead pipes

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh’s beleaguered water authority will spend $50 million to replace lead service lines, give filters to low-income residents and take other steps to address the city’s lead crisis under a settlement approved by state utility regulators.

It comes a week after the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office filed criminal charges against the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. The office alleges the agency mishandled a lead pipe replacement program in 2016 and 2017 and put more than 150 households at elevated risk of lead poisoning.

The authority had previously admitted civil liability in the case and was fined $2.4 million by state environmental regulators.

Clean-water advocates hailed Thursday’s settlement as a significant step toward reducing lead levels in the city’s drinking water, and a model for other cities also struggling with lead.

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