U.S. House committee approves $36 million for schools to get the lead out

Progress on ensuring safe drinking water for kids, as the House Appropriations Committee approves $36 million to help schools get the lead out.

drinking fountain
Drinking fountain. Credit: Dan Keck via Flickr, Public domain

The House Appropriations Committee has approved $36 million for schools to stop lead contamination of their drinking water. The bipartisan infrastructure law authorized $200 million over five years for this purpose, and the second year of that funding is now included in the FY23 Interior and Environment spending bill.

With this bill, the Appropriations Committee has continued a small but steady stream of funding to help ensure safe drinking water at school. Kids are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead – including stunted growth, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. Yet we allowed fountains, pipes, and plumbing to be made with lead, and now lead contamination of schools’ water is pervasive – in suburbs, cities, and rural communities. 

We know what it takes to stop this lead contamination – installing filters and replacing lead-bearing fountains, faucets, pipes and plumbing.Thanks to the leadership of Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Subcommittee Chair Chellie Pingree (ME-01), school districts are one step closer to having additional resources to implement these health-protective measures.

If the funding receives final approval from Congress, school districts wil be able to access it through a grant program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Other funding sources are also available to schools, as explained in our Get the Lead Out toolkit.

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