The U.S. EPA announced $2,730,000 in grant funding to six states to help reduce lead in water at schools and childcare facilities.
Due to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), 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).
As a part of the $58,000,000 in appropriations for this program, EPA also released a revised grant implementation document that contains detailed information on how EPA will award and administer grants that support eligible actions, such as those for remediation or replacement activities. 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.
EPA says 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.
“Ensuring that our children and our most vulnerable communities have access to clean drinking water is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and EPA. These additional funds will expand on existing lead remediation programs and help to improve public health in Colorado,” said EPA Mountains and Plains Regional Administrator KC Becker. “By amending existing clean water programs through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and supporting them with historic infrastructure investments, EPA is taking unprecedented action to protect all our children from lead in drinking water.”
The grant funding announced today 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.
EPA has currently announced funding for the following six states:
- Colorado: $835,000
- Utah: $599,000
- Wyoming: $143,000
- Montana: $565,000
- North Dakota: $162,000
- South Dakota: $426,000