EPA awards Kentucky $500k grant to ensure safe water for children


This Sept. 21, 2017 file photo shows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Building in Washington. Criminal prosecution and convictions of polluters haven fallen to quarter-century lows under the Trump administration. That’s according to Justice Department figures for fiscal year 2019. The EPA says it’s improved in some other enforcement categories. But a former EPA agent in charge says three years of declines show the agency dismantling criminal enforcement. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $576,000 in grant funding today to assist Kentucky in providing safe drinking water for its children.

The funding will assist the state in identifying sources of lead in drinking water in schools or child care facilities.

Congressman James Comer (R-KY) said the (Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act) grant will help ensure the drinking water in Kentucky schools and day-care centers stay safe for consumption.

“As the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on the Environment, which is tasked with evaluating EPA policies related to safe drinking water, this issue has been at the forefront of my agenda,” he said. “I look forward to the benefits this substantial grant will provide to our Kentucky communities.”

Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) said he looks forward to working with the EPA to serve Kentuckians.

“We need to ensure that Kentucky’s students and teachers are not exposed to lead,” he said.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said she describes the grant as “a good step in raising awareness and providing resources to address this important issue.”

EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker said addressing childhood lead exposure from drinking water sources is a top EPA priority.

“EPA is proud to help Kentucky protect children and families from lead exposure and invest in thoughtful, preventative actions,” she said.

Under EPA’s new Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program, EPA has awarded $43.7 million in grants towards funding the implementation of testing for lead in drinking water.

This funding is a resource that creates or expands programs to test for lead in drinking water at schools and child care programs in states and the District of Columbia.

Kentucky’s award will assist with implementing its Lead in Children’s Drinking Water Reduction Program to test for lead contamination in drinking water at all licensed child care centers. EPA’s 3Ts (Training, Testing, and Taking Action) for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools will be used by the grantee to assist schools in implementing lead in drinking water testing including identifying sources of lead such as fountains.

The information gathered will be disseminated out to all parties and will be used to help reduce lead exposure by utilizing the Environmental Protection Agency’s 3T Guidance of Training, Testing and Taking Action.

Learn more about this grant and EPA’s WIIN grant programs at https://www.epa.gov/safewater/grants

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