School lead sampling grants available
The Ohio General Assembly has established a Lead Plumbing Fixture Replacement Assistance Grant Program in order to provide $12 million dollars in state funds to reimburse eligible schools for the sampling and replacement of drinking fountains, water coolers, plumbing fixtures, and limited connected piping. The Program was established through House Bill 390, which was signed on June 28, 2016, and will go into effect on September 26, 2016. Eligible schools are those built before 1990 and include traditional public schools, community schools, and chartered non-public schools. Schools can apply for reimbursement in an amount up to $15,000 for the sampling of eligible fixtures and the material costs to replace those fixtures, if they are over the federal action level for lead of 15 parts per billion.
Sampling and analysis must be conducted in accordance with the Lead Plumbing Fixture Replacement Assistance Grant Program Sampling Protocol. To apply for reimbursement, schools can electronically enter and upload information and documentation of the completed sampling, testing, and fixture replacement through an online application system. School administrators should have received an email from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission by September 7, 2016, which included a personalized link to access the application system. Schools that sampled for lead in drinking water fixtures between January 1, 2016 and July 2016 and that used Ohio EPA guidelines when doing so can submit for reimbursement for those sampling and fixture replacement costs as well.
The Program is non-competitive, but awards are subject to availability of funds and grants will be awarded for eligible activities in the order in which they are received. More information about the Program can be found by visiting the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission website.