WFX To Assist with Regionalization of Lead Service Line Project in Wisconsin

Water Finance Exchange will participate in a pioneering initiative that will revolutionize the effort to eliminate lead service lines (LSLs) across the nation. Building on the Vice President’s Lead Pipe Summit earlier this year, Wausau, Wisconsin Mayor Katie Rosenberg is leading the charge to replace an estimated 8,000 LSLs in the city with an innovative Community-Based Public-Private Partnership (CBP3) approach, originally developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over ten years ago. 

 The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), will serve as the cornerstone of this transformative endeavor. Unlike conventional LSL replacement programs, Wausau’s approach involves a partnership between the public and private sectors to deliver infrastructure while prioritizing community-based benefits. This approach aims to generate superior results in terms of speed, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and equity.

Mayor Rosenberg expressed her excitement for this groundbreaking initiative, stating, “I am thrilled to announce that the City of Wausau is taking the lead in addressing the national crisis of lead service lines. By partnering with national and local experts, we are launching the country’s first-ever CBP3 dedicated to LSL replacement. We are committed to bringing together the necessary resources for a monumental effort to safeguard our drinking water on an accelerated timeline.”

To lead this first-ever CBP3 to remove LSLs, the City of Wausau selected Community Infrastructure Partners (CIP). “In launching this groundbreaking CBP3 for LSL replacement, the City of Wausau, under the visionary leadership of Mayor Katie Rosenberg, is setting a profound example for our nation,” said Shawn Kerachsky, President and CEO of CIP. “Being a first mover in this transformative approach demonstrates Wausau’s commitment to the health and well-being of its residents, as well as its dedication to addressing one of the most critical water infrastructure challenges we face as a country. This bold step sends a powerful message to communities nationwide that innovation, equity, and collaboration can drive meaningful change.”

The CBP3 team is a formidable alliance consisting of other renowned organizations, Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC), Water Finance Exchange (WFX), LiUNA, 120Water, and Blue Conduit, and complemented by local small businesses such as H2N, Daar, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. This collaboration will expand as the program scales up, ensuring comprehensive expertise and support. 

Read more about the project here>>

Read about the project kick-off on Nov. 9th, 2023 here>>