At an event in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. EPA and federal officials announced $58 million in grant funding to protect children from lead in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities across the country
Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, activities that remove sources of lead in drinking water are now, for the first time, eligible to receive funding through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN).
“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Massachusetts students and families will rest easier knowing that the water in our schools is safe and free of dangerous toxins like lead,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA). “This investment in our schools and our infrastructure will help support the lasting, resilient water systems our communities deserve.”
EPA is also releasing a revised grant implementation document that outlines new authority provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund activities that remove sources of lead in drinking water. The Voluntary School and Child Care Lead Testing and Reduction Grant Program funds voluntary lead testing, compliance monitoring, and for the first-time, lead in drinking water remediation projects. Lead remediation actions may include but are not limited to the removal, installation, and replacement of internal plumbing, lead pipes or lead connectors, faucets, water fountains, water filler stations, point-of-use devices, and other lead-free apparatus related to drinking water.
The grant funding announced is provided to states, territories, and Tribes through the WIIN. The grant program requires the use of guidance from EPA’s 3Ts (Training, Testing, and Taking Action) Program to support schools and childcare facilities in making progress on reducing lead in drinking water. Tools and resources from the 3Ts Program help states, territories, and Tribes provide technical assistance and take action to support the health and safety of children in early care and education settings.
“Reducing lead in drinking water is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and the EPA. We are taking a holistic approach to tackling this critical public health issue in California,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “By harmonizing regulations with historic infrastructure investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, while also providing technical assistance to disadvantaged communities, EPA is taking bold action to protect all our children from lead in drinking water.”