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Indiana Senate passes bill to force apartment landlords to replace lead pipes

An EPA civil engineer shows how corrosion control treatments can affect lead pipes.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
An EPA civil engineer shows how corrosion control treatments can affect lead pipes. The one on the left was treated, the middle one was not and the one on the right is a new pipe.

Absentee landlords would have to replace lead drinking water pipes in apartments under a bill that passed the Indiana Senate on Tuesday.

Kids exposed to lead can have trouble learning, behavioral issues and poor kidney function. It can also cause high blood pressure, kidney failure and anemia in adults and seniors.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a deadline of 10 years for water utilities to replace all their lead pipes.

READ MORE: Absentee landlords could slow down lead pipe replacements, state Senate bill aims to help

SB 5 would require landlords to enroll in a program to replace the lead pipes they own through their water utility or be forced to pay for it themselves.

But some lawmakers and consumer advocates have expressed concern that landlords who don’t replace their lead pipes won’t face consequences under the current bill.

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The federal government and the Indiana Finance Authority have made funding available to Indiana drinking water utilities to help offset the cost of replacing lead pipes to their customers.

The bill now heads to the state House for consideration.

Rebecca is our energy and environment reporter. Contact her at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Rebecca Thiele covers statewide environment and energy issues.