New Hampshire Receives $887,000 to Implement Lead Testing Program for Drinking Water in Schools and Childcare Facilities
BOSTON (Oct. 28, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the State of New Hampshire an additional $887,000 to help schools and childcare facilities in implementing the State's requirement that these facilities conduct lead testing for drinking water. This funding was awarded to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) through the voluntary EPA Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation's (WIIN Act) Lead Testing in School and Childcare Program Drinking Water Grant program.
"Understanding where exposure to lead occurs is a critical first step in reducing blood-lead rates in children," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. "EPA's WIIN Act Lead Testing in School and Childcare Drinking Water Grant is a terrific resource for states like New Hampshire to use in order to uncover and fix potential sources of lead in drinking water."
The WIIN Act Lead Testing in School and Childcare Program Drinking Water Grant program was introduced in 2019 with $43.7 million in grant funds and was expanded in 2021 with an additional $26.5 million in grant funds to states, territories, and tribes nationwide. Since 2019, EPA has awarded over $8.3 million to the New England states, of which $2,171,000 has gone to New Hampshire.
In 2018, the State enacted SB247 Preventing Childhood Lead Poisoning from Paint and Water requiring lead in drinking water testing in schools and licensed childcare facilities be administered by NHDES. The Act covers 490 K-12 public schools, 143 K-12 private schools and 870 licensed childcare facilities. The WIIN Act funding provided by EPA will support lead testing of all public schools and licensed childcare facilities. Facilities in disadvantaged towns with median household incomes below the State average will receive additional assistance.
"This funding from EPA will provide support to New Hampshire's schools and childcare facilities to complete the lead in drinking water testing required by SB247, with the goal of reducing childhood lead poisoning. Funding will cover testing costs for an anticipated two rounds of testing and support program outreach and education efforts, including creation of a public data portal for reviewing testing results and corresponding remediation actions. We appreciate EPA's efforts to support states as they work to protect vulnerable populations from lead poisoning," said Bob Scott, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
NHDES is collaborating with other state agencies, including the New Hampshire Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services, and an extensive network of stakeholders to increase the awareness about the impacts of lead exposure to children and encourage testing remediation of lead in drinking water.
For more information on lead testing of drinking water: