The unanimous vote of the City Council’s Budget and Government Operations Committee sends the proposal backed by Lightfoot to the full City Council for consideration at its meeting on May 25.
In an interview with “Chicago Tonight” Tuesday, Department of Water Commissioner Andrea Cheng said officials are confident both regular and ultrasonic water meters can be safely installed in Chicago homes without threatening the health of residents.
Department of Water Management Commissioner Andrea Cheng said federal funding will “jump-start” Chicago’s efforts to remove the lead service. Cheng acknowledged logistical challenges have meant the program has failed to achieve what Lightfoot promised in September 2020, when she vowed that the city would remove 650 pipes by the end of 2021.
The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $15 billion to fund lead service replacement efforts, and $3 billion will flow to states and cities in 2022, officials announced.
The commissioner of the Chicago Department of Water Management told members of the City Council that it was “quite impressive” that city crews had replaced 10 of the approximately 400,000 lead service lines responsible for contaminating Chicagoans’ tap water in 13 months.
The city has been testing alternatives to open-trench digging and tree removal during pipe replacement and repair projects. Failure of one new technique spelled the end of the line for a slew of trees in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood.
Celia Meza has served as the city’s top attorney since December, replacing former Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner, who resigned amid a furor over the mayor’s handling of the revelation that Chicago police officers handcuffed a naked woman during a mistaken raid in February 2019.