Nov 18, 2021

Massachusetts Clean Water Trust Announces Second Round of School Water Improvement Grant Program

The program covers the purchase and installation of filtered water bottle filling stations.

schools

The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust announced that $2 million in grants will be made available in the second round of the Trust's School Water Improvement Grant (SWIG) program.

The SWIG program supports school districts and private education as well as childcare facilities by mitigating lead in drinking water, according to the Trust. 

The program covers the purchase and installation of filtered water bottle filling stations.

The pilot round provided grants to 37 school districts for 128 schools serving over 69,000 students in the Commonwealth and $954,000 was used to install 318 bottle filling stations. The second round will provide $2 million in grants and will expand program eligibility from the pilot round. This expansion will now include private elementary schools, early education programs, and non-residential childcare facilities. 

High priority will be given to facilities in underserved communities, communities at high risk for childhood lead poisoning, and those exceeding the Commonwealth's lead action level.

The applications for the second round will be accepted beginning in Jan. 2022.

"The SWIG Program has made great progress in delivering this vital resource to our schools and early education centers," said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, chair of the Clean Water Trust in a statement. "This is a critical health issue for so many communities and I applaud the collaboration and focus on the protection of our children everywhere."

The second round will concentrate funding to public and private facilities serving childcare and pre-K, kindergarten, and elementary schools. 

SWIG is funded through an appropriation filed by Governor Charlie Baker and approved by the legislature, and a grant from the U.S. EPA.

Under current federal and state laws, lead testing in schools is voluntary. 

Governor Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg launched the Commonwealth's Assistance Program for Lead in School Drinking Water in 2016.

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