The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) today began notifying administrators at school buildings across the state that they may be eligible for assistance with the replacement of lead plumbing fixtures.
The Lead Plumbing Fixture Replacement Assistance Grant Program provides $12,000,000 in funding to eligible schools to reimburse for the sampling, assessment, and replacement of drinking fountains, water coolers, plumbing fixtures, and limited connected piping. Schools built before 1990 can apply for reimbursement up to $15,000 for sampling and assessment of eligible fixtures and the material costs to replace fixtures identified as being over the federal action level for lead in drinking water. The program is open to traditional public schools, community schools, and chartered non-public schools.
The program was established earlier this year as a part of House Bill 390 passed by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by Governor John Kasich on June 28, 2016. It is being administered by the OFCC with the cooperation and assistance of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Water Development Authority.
OFCC Executive Director David M. Williamson noted that: “One of our primary concerns at OFCC is to make certain students are in safe environments that are conducive to education. We hope schools will take advantage of this opportunity.”
“Having access to safe and reliable drinking water is critical. It's an essential building block of life, and having a safe abundant supply is essential,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler. “Since children are one of the most at-risk groups from lead exposure, it is important for schools to use these resources to find out if fixtures at schools contain lead and are leaching lead, and to replace them.”
Administrators at eligible schools are being notified via email of a personalized link where they may submit web-based grant applications. Reimbursements are expected to be available in late September, though schools may seek reimbursement for any testing or eligible work performed after January 1, 2016.