Today, governors across the country will receive a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency notifying them of the availability of grant funds to support voluntary lead testing programs in schools and childcare programs. Governors will have until January 11, 2019, to respond with a letter of intent in which they will assign the state agency responsible for administering the grant.
In 2016, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act or WIIN Act that included a provision in section 2107 titled Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water. This section instituted a grant program to support voluntary lead testing programs in schools and childcare programs. Currently, approved funding allows for 20 million dollars in grant allocations that cover lead testing but does not cover any lead mitigation or remediation activities.
What you need to know about this grant.
All funds received from the grant must be expended in accordance with the EPA guidance document titled “3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in School.” The 3Ts include training, testing, and telling.
As part of the 3T guidance, school staff must be trained on the potential sources of lead, what can lead to lead exposure and the health impacts. Schools must then conduct testing to identify potential problems and take corrective action if necessary. Finally, schools must tell students, parents, staff, and the larger community about monitoring programs, potential risks, the results of testing, and remediation actions. In fact, communication was a key requirement of the grant requirements with the statute language explicitly stating that copies of the testing results must be made available, to the extent possible, in the school administration offices and on the school website in addition to notifying parents, teachers, and employee organizations of the availability of results.
As your partners, we understand the complexity of complying with the changing lead and copper regulations. We also know that schools and daycares already have a lot on their plate and in order to capitalize on this grant funding, you need the pieces in place to act quickly. Our 120WaterAudit Schools software and testing kits ensure your facility complies with each of the elements of the grant requirements including the 3T guidance component. We’ve housed the testing and communication components under one roof so that you can focus on your primary job function—ensuring the education and safety of the children in your community.