In the fallout from the Flint water crisis, the Environmental Protection Agency is realizing that they need to tighten their regulations well beyond the borders of Michigan and it may cost them billions. Global credit ratings and research agency Fitch Ratings estimates it would cost over $300 billion to fix the real problem and remove all lead lines in the country.
The cities of Flint and Chicago have filed lawsuits over increased levels of lead in their water and with the number of lawsuits growing, the U.S. may soon have enough incentive for this infrastructure overhaul:
Current EPA regulations require municipalities and water suppliers to control levels of lead by controlling erosion, however, the federal agency had been considering a revision to the current rule even before the Flint water crisis came to light. Tightened regulation may require water suppliers to monitor water quality, actively treat the water for control of corrosive properties, provide public education, and to physically remove all lead lines.