Reducing exposure to lead improves health and well-being — especially for infants and children. But in the Upper Midwest, the widespread presence of lead service lines (LSLs) poses elevated risks of exposure to millions of people through the water supply. Replacing LSLs is the only way to eliminate this potential source of lead exposure. Although new federal and state policies and programs are strengthening momentum to replace LSLs, many economic and financial barriers continue to pose challenges, particularly in low-income communities.
Staff at the Chicago Fed are using our expertise in public policy, finance, and community economic development to help find ways to overcome these challenges, as part of the Federal Reserve’s broader mission to foster economic opportunity, advance a strong and inclusive economy, and promote an efficient financial system. We are:
- Learning from diverse stakeholders about the unique challenges of rapid LSL replacement across different communities
- Synthesizing and sharing what we learn
- Working with stakeholders to help identify windows of opportunity to overcome economic and financial barriers to widespread replacement of LSLs.