Massachusetts will offer two programs to address lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Expanded Assistance Program for Free Sampling and Analysis at Schools and Early Education and Care Facilities will be offered in order to test lead and provide technical assistance to eligible facilities, according to the state's press release.
The Clean Water Trust’s School Water Improvement Grant program will provide $5 million for the installation of water bottle filling stations. Under current federal and state laws, lead testing in schools is voluntary.
The two programs aim to encourage education and care facilities to perform lead testing and address elevated levels, reported Cape Wide News.
“Protecting the health and safety of all of the Commonwealth’s children is a top priority for our administration, which is why over the last three years we have provided free water sampling and technical assistance to almost a thousand schools across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With these new programs, we are both continuing that assistance while building on it by helping schools and daycare facilities that have found unsafe lead levels address this serious issue.”
MassDEP’s Expanded Assistance Program is funded through a $967,000 grant from the U.S. EPA, with the aim of: helping eligible facilities implement effective testing programs; educating them about how to address elevated lead levels; and providing water quality information to the school community.
The Clean Water Trust’s SWIG program will provide grants to school districts that have tested their drinking water through the Commonwealth’s lead testing program or other testing for water bottle filling stations. The grant awards will be calculated based on a per fixture award of $3,000, according to Cape Wide News.