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EPA grant to provide $80,000 for American Samoa to reduce lead in schools and childcare facilities

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Based on an EPA press release

SAN FRANCISCO — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday $58 million in grant funding from the 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.

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 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. 

Yesterday’s announcement advances the goals of the 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. 

BACKGROUND 

The 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.