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Buffalo will replace lead pipes using American Rescue Plan funds

Federal and city officials on Friday marked the anniversary of the signing of the American Rescue Plan, which provided funding for recovery from the COVID pandemic.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The City of Buffalo is moving forward, with the backing of more federal funding, with its effort to replace lead service pipes that provide water for homes. 

Federal and city officials on Friday marked the anniversary of the signing of the American Rescue Plan, which provided funding for recovery from the COVID pandemic.

It also allocated funding for local governments to make various improvements, such as an ongoing effort to remove lines that can cause lead contamination, which can especially affect the health and development of young children.

The city will pump up this effort with an additional $10 million.

"This money will allow us to accelerate our program," said Oluwole McFoy, the general manager of the Buffalo Sewer Authority. "To date we have replaced over 700 lead service lines, and we plan to make sure that with this money we can replace an additional thousand."

This is especially crucial here in Buffalo with its older housing stock. Additional federal funding from the separate infrastructure law will also be used for this municipal replacement work.

It can be costly to also replace lead solder in plumbing inside a home, and the city hopes to provide a grant-loan program to help property owners handle those projects.

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