LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced Tuesday that it has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for lead testing of drinking water at schools and child care facilities across the state.
Michigan will receive $1,871,000 from the $69.7 million EPA Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program.
“This award is due to the hard work that EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division’s newly formed Lead and Copper Unit have put in finding funding sources and new ways to further protect our most vulnerable populations,” said division director Eric Oswald.
EGLE, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is prioritizing this funding toward the protection of children in areas where blood lead levels in the state are higher, where schools are unable to pay for testing, and to enhance community, parent and teacher trust.
EGLE has sent invitations to schools and child care facilities that meet the criteria of the grant program. Anyone interested in obtaining more information about the state’s school drinking water programs can visit www.michigan.gov/schoolwater.
EGLE and DHHS have developed a work plan that addresses lead exposure from drinking water in schools and child care facilities by testing the drinking water and working with facilities to remove or remediate locations with elevated lead results.
EGLE’s Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate praised the grant program as an example of federal and state cooperation to reduce children’s lead exposures.
“Seeking opportunities to collaborate with state agencies and federal partners supports our mission of providing cleaner drinking water to all Michiganders,” EGLE Clean Water Public Advocate Ninah Sasy said.
“This governmental collaboration combined with our public outreach and Clean Water Ambassador program creates an environment where we can quickly get funding and resources to the communities most in need.”