U.S. EPA Awards California $6,137,000 to Test for Lead
in Drinking Water at Childcare Centers
SAN FRANCISCO - Today,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an award of
$6,137,000 in grant funding to assist the California Department of
Social Services with identifying sources of lead in drinking water in
“Testing for lead in drinking water is critical for the
protection of our children,” said
EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud.
“EPA is pleased to support California in its efforts to detect and
reduce lead in drinking water, thereby protecting children's health
at childcare centers and elsewhere.”
The State of California has been proactive in testing
drinking water for lead in childcare centers. In 2018,
California’s Legislature passed AB2370, expanding the state’s lead
testing program to require testing of more than 15,000 childcare
centers serving over 800,000 children; EPA’s funding will support
testing at these childcare centers.
“CDSS is excited about this opportunity to continue to
support the overall health and safety of children in California,” said Pam Dickfoss,
Deputy Director of Community Care Licensing at the California
Department of Social Services.
California will use the EPA’s 3Ts (Training, Testing, and Taking
Action) for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water guidance and its
strategic partnerships to implement its program, with the goal of
reducing lead exposure at these centers by testing for lead,
identifying potential lead sources, and taking action. Additionally,
the state and its partner organizations will provide education to
parents on the risks and effects of lead exposure, blood lead testing
recommendations and requirements, and options for obtaining blood
The EPA grant provides funds for testing drinking water
lead levels, for development of Corrective Action Plans, and for the
provision of technical assistance to childcare centers that need
remediation for lead in their drinking water.
Under EPA’s Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child
Care grant program, EPA has awarded $43.7 million in grants
nationwide to fund testing for lead in drinking water at schools and
childcare programs in states, territories and the District of
As part of the Action Plan, EPA proposed
a rule in October 2019 that significantly improves the actions
that water systems must take to reduce lead in the nation’s drinking
water. This proposed rule represents the first major overhaul of the
Lead and Copper Rule since 1991 and will better protect children
in schools and childcare centers by requiring
water systems, to take drinking water samples from the schools and
childcare centers served by the system.
In addition, the agency is taking other significant
actions to modernize aging water infrastructure and reduce exposure
to lead, including:
Working with states,
tribes, and territories to award $87 million in funding through
EPA’s two new drinking water grant programs established by the
Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN)— the
Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program
and the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities grant
program. EPA will announce funding details for WIIN’s third
newly created grant program dedicated to reducing lead in
drinking water systems in 2020.
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