"Toolkit" Designed To Reduce Lead in School Drinking Water

EPA has released a specialized toolkit to encourage school officials and child care facilities to reduce lead in their drinking water.

EPA has released a specialized toolkit to encourage school officials and child care facilities to reduce lead in their drinking water. The “3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water at Schools and Child Care Facilities Toolkit” contains materials to implement a voluntary training and testing strategy.

“Our drinking water tools for schools teach lead prevention through action and awareness,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water. “This new and improved guidance will help students, teachers, and parents have confidence in the quality of their school’s tap water.”

Testing water in schools and child care centers is important because children spend a significant portion of their days there. The “3Ts Toolkit” explains how to test for lead in drinking water; report results to parents, students, staff, and other interested parties; and take action to correct problems. The toolkit also includes an update to a 1994 EPA technical guidance to help schools design and implement testing programs. Steps in the program include:

• Collecting information on school drinking water and identifying assistance to implement a school lead control program.
• Developing a plumbing profile.
• Developing a drinking water testing plan.
• Testing the facilities’ drinking water for lead.
• Correcting problems when elevated lead levels are found.
• Communicating with the school community about a school lead-control program.

EPA developed the toolkit in conjunction with nongovernment organizations and several federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Education, whose Safe and Drug-Free School Coordinators will help promote and distribute the package to schools.

Deborah Price, assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the Department of Education, said, “An unhealthy school environment is a serious barrier to learning. This toolkit will help schools work with their community partners to understand and reduce children’s lead exposure from drinking water.”

Printed copies of the toolkit will be available through the Water Resource Center at 800-832-7828 and through the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at: 800-426-4791. To view the toolkit visit: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/schools/guidance.html.

EPA Extends CAFO Compliance Dates

EPA has modified the 2003 CAFO Rule to extend two compliance deadlines for operators of Confined Animal Feeding Operations. Under a final rule, facilities newly defined as CAFOs will have until July 31, 2007, to seek NPDES permit coverage, while all CAFOs will have until that date to implement nutrient management plans (NMPs).

The extension is in response to changes required by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Waterkeeper Alliance et al. v. EPA. The 2003 CAFO rule required facilities newly defined as CAFOs to seek NPDES permit coverage by February 13, 2006.

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