Infrastructure bill could be the solution to Ohio’s lead pipe problem
Insulators International Staff — Thu, Dec 30, 2021 @ 19:12 PM
There are at least 650,000 known lead pipes in Ohio that deliver polluted drinking water. Ohio has the second highest number in the nation, next to Illinois.
The infrastructure bill may be the solution to Ohio’s lead pipe problem. The bill provides $25 billion in funding over five years to remove lead pipes across the nation and install safer alternatives such as iron, copper or PVC piping.
What does this mean for our Union?
Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) Executive Director Pete Ielmini appeared on the labor-focused America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the infrastructure bill will provide clean drinking water and improve the health of millions of Americans by removing lead pipes across the nation.
Lead is commonly found in the pipes of utility companies, older buildings and schools. It affects children’s nervous systems and developing brains, and can cause severe learning disabilities. It can also affect blood pressure and cause blood poisoning in adults.
The bill will also fund the removal of lead paint used as an insulated coating. Lead paint remediation will be the role of Mechanical Insulators, Ielmini explained. This directly leads to work opportunities for our members.
The infrastructure bill will lead to unprecedented growth in construction
The removal of lead pipes and lead paint will lead to a Pandora’s box of construction projects, Ielmini said. The infrastructure bill will continue to drive a growth of job opportunities in construction for decades to come.
The bill’s priority on energy efficiency will accelerate the demand for jobs in the Mechanical Insulation industry in particular, he said. Energy efficiency becomes increasingly critical in a carbon neutral society. Solar, wind and other alternative energies are limited in capacity. Therefore, providing Mechanical Insulation for buildings must become a nationwide priority, he explained.
For the next 20 to 40 years, the construction will see unprecedented opportunities, thanks to the infrastructure bill. There has never been a better time to get into the building trades, Ielmini said. He urged listeners interested in construction careers to sign up for a Registered Apprenticeship Program at their Local Union.