Lead service line replacement: The latest from the MN Leg

Water running from a sink faucet.

Lead service lines remain a significant source of exposure to the toxic metal. (Photo via Pixabay)

A bill to replace all hazardous lead service lines in the state of Minnesota within the next decade is heading toward its first Senate hurdle.

That chamber’s Jobs and Economic Development committee will hear testimony at a Monday, Feb. 6 meeting, regarding SF30. The legislation would establish two grant programs: One for mapping all publicly and privately owned lead service lines that exist within the state, and another for replacing those lines. The bill sets a goal of having this work done in the next decade.

There is a companion bill in the House, HF24, that is currently making its way through committees in that chamber. You can read more in our previous updates below.

The Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Jen McEwen of Duluth. Additional authors include Sens. Sandra Pappa, Jim Abeler and Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic.

An estimated at least 100,000 homes in Minnesota still have a lead service line. Those are the pipes that connect a home’s plumbing system to the water main. Lead services lines can taint drinking water and are a significant source of exposure to the toxic metal, which can be particularly hazardous to children. 

You can read more about the scope of the issue — and possible solutions — in this FMR update.

Take action here:

Previous 2023 updates

Jan. 20: Lead service line bill advances through first House committee

The House Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee passed a lead service line bill by unanimous voice vote, sending the legislation to its next committee stop. 

That committee, chaired by Rep. Hodan Hassan, gave the green light to HF 24 during its Jan. 18 meeting. It will now head to the Health Finance and Policy Committee for further consideration.

 

 

FMR submitted a letter expressing strong support for HF24, describing the legislation's pairing with federal funding opportunities as " a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect public health by removing all of Minnesota's lead service lines."

Authored by Rep. Sydney Jordan of Minneapolis, the bill would establish grant programs to both map and replace lead service lines across the state over the next decade. A companion bill in the Minnesota Senate, SF 30, is with that chamber's Jobs and Economic Development Committee.

Read more about why it's time to find and replace lead service lines in Minnesota.

Jan. 17: FMR submits letter in support of House lead service line bill

There is early movement on the lead service line replacement bill in the Minnesota House. 

The House Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee will hear HF 24 during its meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18. It's scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. You can find more information about the meeting here.

HF 24, authored by Rep. Sydney Jordan of Minneapolis, would establish grant programs to map and replace lead service lines across the state by 2033. The bill has more than two dozen co-authors. FMR wrote and submitted a letter of support to the the chair, Rep. Hodan Hassan of Minneapolis, as well as the other members of the committee. 

"As amended, HF24 sets a statewide lead service line replacement goal and provides much-needed funding to make that possible," FMR's letter (see a copy here) reads. "This legislation, paired with unprecedented federal funding support, represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect public health by removing all of Minnesota's lead service lines. We greatly appreciate Rep. Jordan’s strong leadership on this issue and urge you to support HF 24 this session."

Over in the Senate, DFL Sen. Jen McEwen of Duluth has previously introduced SF 30. That bill has been referred to the Senate's Jobs and Economic Development Committee.

Read more about why it's time to find and replace lead service lines in Minnesota.

Jan. 5: Lead service line replacement bills introduced

Just days into the 2023 legislative session, FMR is pleased to note state lawmakers have already introduced legislation to replace lead service lines in Minnesota.

Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced HF 24 in the House on Jan. 4. The bill already has 28 co-authors, including numerous stalwart environmental champions. This bill has been referred to the Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee.

On the Senate side, DFL Sen. Jen McEwen of Duluth introduced SF 30 on the same day. Co-authors are pending in that chamber, and the bill has been referred to the Senate's Jobs and Economic Development Committee.

These bills set a statewide goal of replacing all lead service lines by 2033, and would do so by establishing a pair of grant programs. The first program would provide grants for mapping lead service lines (so we actually know where they are). The second grant program would provide funds for replacement of those lines.

Importantly, the bills include workforce development and prevailing wage elements that help ensure communities most impacted by lead service lines benefit from public funds.

Leaders in both chambers have said addressing lead service lines is one of their priorities for the 2023 legislative session.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, February 11, 2023 - 9:30am to 11:30am
Butter Bakery Cafe, Minneapolis
Flexible! May through mid-October
St. Paul
Spring through summer
Throughout the Twin Cities metro area