Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust Executive Director Pete Ielmini attended the Dec. 16 announcement by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris regarding the fast-tracking of lead pipe and lead paint removal as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The LMCT believes all Americans deserve to drink clean water, breathe clean air and live in healthy homes. However, lead in drinking water pipes, faucets and paint threatens the health and well-being of American families and children across the country. The Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and countless experts agree there is no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood.
The LMCT is a labor management organization associated with the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers and their signatory contractors. The LMCT, our affiliated Local Unions and affiliated signatory contractors are ready to assist in this effort to help our fellow Americans.
As the most union friendly administration this country has seen in decades, the Biden-Harris Administration is focused on upgrading the nation’s infrastructure. In doing so, they have ensured building trades unions will perform the work to rebuild the U.S. and help ensure the safety all Americans through the removal of lead pipes and lead paint.
The Vice President unveiled the Lead Pipe and Paint Remediation Action Plan at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“This will provide thousands of good-paying union jobs, strengthen union apprenticeships and complete a task effectively for every American to live in a lead-free society,” said Harris.
The law will provide $2.9 billion per year for five years, up to $15 billion total, to conduct lead remediation.
The driving force of the initiative is to replace all lead pipes to make the country’s drinking water supply healthy for everyone. It will impact associated piping systems and will increase opportunities in the Mechanical Insulation industry. Additionally, this work is also inclusive of the removal of lead paint.
“Some of our affiliated Local Unions and contractors are prepared to conduct lead abatement, similar to asbestos abatement, and have been waiting for this type of legislation to rid lead out of our communities,” said Ielmini.
The HFIAW provides the most highly skilled and highly trained workers in the mechanical insulation industry. As such, some of their members have been expertly trained to safely perform lead remediation. HFIAW signatory contractors plan, develop and monitor all abatement projects based on federal, state and local requirements, ensuring all materials and equipment used by their workers adhere to EPA and Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
In addition to Harris, other notable figures who spoke at the event included AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and North American Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey.
“We were honored that Vice President Harris and EPA Administrator Regan joined us today at the House of Labor,” said McGarvey. “Today’s announcement of a great multi-agency initiative to create good-paying union jobs and provide clean and safe drinking water is welcome news for working families. This long-awaited effort fast tracks the replacement of lead service lines in our public water systems and accelerates lead paint remediation, especially in marginalized areas.”