Nov 01, 2021

New Hampshire Awarded Grants to Test School & Childcare Facility Drinking Water

Additionally, schools and childcare facilities are required to notify parents and develop a mitigation plan if the lead concentration exceeds the EPAs lead action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

new hampshire

The U.S. EPA awarded $887,000 in funding to New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) to help schools and child care facilities test their drinking water for lead.

According to The New Hampshire Public Radio, the state adopted Senate Bill 247 in 2018 to prevent childhood lead poisoning from water and paint. This bill requires schools and childcare facilities to test their drinking water for lead in five-year periods and these organizations are not required to continue after three consecutive rounds of testing that show results below the EPA’s standard.

Additionally, schools and childcare facilities are required to notify parents and develop a mitigation plan if the lead concentration exceeds the EPAs lead action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

According to The New Hampshire Public Radio, the act covers 490 public schools, 143 private schools, and 870 child care facilities. The EPA grant will provide funding for public schools and child care facilities.

The deadline for the first round of testing in New Hampshire passed in 2019 and DES has received results from 90% of schools and 60% of childcare facilities, according to an NHDES spokesperson.

"This funding from EPA will provide support to New Hampshire's schools and childcare facilities to complete the lead in drinking water testing required by SB247, with the goal of reducing childhood lead poisoning,” said Bob Scott, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in the EPA press release. “Funding will cover testing costs for an anticipated two rounds of testing and support program outreach and education efforts, including creation of a public data portal for reviewing testing results and corresponding remediation actions. We appreciate EPA's efforts to support states as they work to protect vulnerable populations from lead poisoning." 

The grant will cover costs for the two additional rounds of testing and will also support a data portal where the public can review testing results and remediation efforts.

Funding to reimburse schools for lead remediation costs is also available through the New Hampshire DES, through a $1.6 million grant from the New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund.

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