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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $80,000 for American Samoa to Reduce Lead in Schools and Childcare Facilities Through Investing in America Agenda | #schoolsaftey


President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expanded the eligibility of WIIN funding to include remediating lead in water that children drink, in addition to testing and compliance monitoring

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, at an event in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox and EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash, along with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Representative Katherine Clark, announced $58 million in grant funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to protect children from lead in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities across the country, including $80,000 for American Samoa. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, activities that remove sources of lead in drinking water are now, for the first time, eligible to receive funding through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). This grant funding, which is provided to states, territories, and Tribes, advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and unprecedented commitment to delivering clean water for all communities, especially historically marginalized and low-income communities.       

“Reducing lead in drinking water is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and the EPA. We are taking a holistic approach to tackling this critical public health issue in American Samoa,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “By harmonizing regulations with historic infrastructure investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, while also providing technical assistance to disadvantaged communities, EPA is taking bold action to protect all our children from lead in drinking water.” 

EPA is also releasing a revised grant implementation document that outlines new authority provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund activities that remove sources of lead in drinking water. The Voluntary School and Child Care Lead Testing and Reduction Grant Program funds voluntary lead testing, compliance monitoring, and for the first-time, lead in drinking water remediation projects. Lead remediation actions may include but are not limited to the removal, installation, and replacement of internal plumbing, lead pipes or lead connectors, faucets, water fountains, water filler stations, point-of-use devices, and other lead-free apparatus related to drinking water. 

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Massachusetts students and families will rest easier knowing that the water in our schools is safe and free of dangerous toxins like lead,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA). “This investment in our schools and our infrastructure will help support the lasting, resilient water systems our communities deserve.”

“During his first year in office, President Biden announced a bold plan to replace every lead pipe in America. Today’s announcement is another step toward making that vision a reality. Schools and child care centers across the country will have the resources to ensure students are safe to learn, play, and grow alongside their friends,” said House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-05). “As this funding is put to work in Massachusetts and across the country, House Democrats remain committed to building on the success of our Investing in America agenda – forging a cleaner, greener, safer, and more prosperous future for every American.”

The grant funding announced today is provided to states, territories, and Tribes through the WIIN. The grant program requires the use of guidance from EPA’s 3Ts (Training, Testing, and Taking Action) Program to support schools and childcare facilities in making progress on reducing lead in drinking water. Tools and resources from the 3Ts Program help states, territories, and Tribes provide technical assistance and take action to support the health and safety of children in early care and education settings. The program also helps advance President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which is helping address environmental injustice by ensuring that the benefits of federal investments in clean water, clean energy, and other programs reach communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. 

Today’s announcement advances the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and EPA’s Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposures and Disparities in U.S. Communities. Under these initiatives, EPA is developing the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements to strengthen the Agency’s regulatory framework. EPA intends to propose requirements that, along with other actions, would result in the replacement of all lead service lines as quickly as is feasible. EPA is also investing $15 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to remove lead service lines. In addition to the dedicated funding for lead service line removal, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides another $11.7 billion in general funding through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund that can also be utilized for lead removal projects. 

Learn more about the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and EPA’s Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposures and Disparities in U.S. Communities.

Background 

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is dedicating an unprecedented $15 billion to removing lead from drinking water. The Voluntary School and Childcare Lead Testing and Reduction Grant Program complements these funds to further reduce lead in drinking water. Under this grant, EPA allocates funds to eligible states and territories based on a formula that includes factors for population, disadvantaged communities, and lead exposure risk. For more information, visit: WIIN Grant: Voluntary School and Child Care Lead Testing and Reduction Grant Program.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

 





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