EPA Announces $4.3 Million for Tribes to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water in Schools
New grant program continues implementation of Trump Administration’s Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure
WASHINGTON (July 30, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new grant program to help protect children in tribal communities from lead in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities. With this action, the agency is continuing to make meaningful progress under the Trump Administration’s Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures by engaging with tribes and working to protect childrens’ health in these underserved communities.
“Protecting children in tribal communities from lead in drinking water is a priority for the Trump Administration and EPA,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This new funding helps tribes further reduce lead in drinking water by boosting testing for lead in schools and childcare centers. This, in turn, will increase the health and wellbeing of the coming generation.”
Authorized by the Water Infrastructure Improvements of the Nation (WIIN) Act, EPA is making $4.3 million available to support the Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water Tribal Grant Program. Grantees will use the EPA’s 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water guidance to implement lead testing programs and develop monitoring, maintenance and/or sampling plans that protect children from lead exposure now and in the future. Beneficiaries of the program must be members of a federally-recognized tribe. EPA will host a webinar in August to provide more information about the 3Ts toolkit and an overview of the grant and its scope.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/safewater/grants.
While the U.S. has made tremendous progress in lowering children’s blood lead levels, some children are still exposed to high levels of lead. In December 2018, EPA with other federal partners announced the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures. Today’s announcement continues the agency’s significant progress in implementing this plan.
For example, on July 29, 2020, EPA announced that it sent the final Lead and Copper Rule—the first major overhaul of rule in nearly three decades—to the Office of Management and Budget. When finalized, the revision will significantly improve the actions that water systems must take to reduce lead in the nation’s drinking water. The agency also announced a final rule to reduce lead in plumbing materials used in public water systems, homes, schools and other facilities. In June, EPA announced a proposal to reduce the amount of lead that can remain in dust on floors and windowsills after lead removal activities. Additionally, in February, the agency announced the availability of approximately $40 million to assist disadvantaged communities and schools with removing sources of lead in drinking water.