a national effort
The Campaign for Lead Free Water is a network of individuals and organizations working locally, at the state level, and nationally to protect communities from the often underestimated and routinely downplayed problem of lead in drinking water.
The driving force behind our initiative is the following:
The science and policy of lead in water leave communities across the country at risk of routine exposures and irreparable health harm, even when water utilities meet federal lead-in-water requirements. This means that protection from lead in water requires informed consumer action. To date, however, there is no federal or state requirement mandating public education that lets people know about their responsibility for self-protection. Moreover, even though current policy deems consumers partly responsible for preventing exposures, the public and its experiences and perspectives are systematically excluded from policy deliberations and revisions; policy implementation, oversight, and enforcement; and governmental and non-governmental initiatives to bring fixes.
History has shown that the absence of community participation from efforts to address lead in water often results in incomplete or faulty solutions, and leaves consumers unequipped both to protect themselves from exposures and prevent large-scale contaminations, like the 2001-2004 Washington, DC and 2014-present Flint, MI lead-in-water crises.
The Campaign for Lead Free Water is rooted in the conviction that consumer experiences, knowledge, and robust participation at tables where decisions are made are necessary for addressing the problem of lead in water in a health-protective, justice-centered, and economically efficient way.
The Campaign for Lead Free Water was inspired when veteran advocates from the 2001-2004 Washington, DC lead-in-water crisis joined forces with residents of Providence, RI; New Orleans, LA; Flint, MI; Pittsburgh, PA; Philadelphia, PA; and other communities working to respond to the problem of lead in water. Together we share and build knowledge and resources, as well as advocate for better solutions through robust public policies and meaningful public participation in the development, implementation, and oversight of solutions.
The Campaign for Lead Free Water is rooted in local action, while recognizing the need for better and stronger partnerships among concerned and affected individuals, grassroots advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, experts from multiple fields, water utilities, and government agencies. First and foremost, we are committed to lifting local voices to the forefront, and bringing the knowledge, expertise, and goals of water consumers and advocates to bear on federal and state regulations governing lead at our taps.