EPA Awards Grant To Arkansas Department Of Education For Lead Testing In Drinking Water
Arkansas will soon have a better understanding of possible lead levels, if any, in the drinking water at schools and childcare facilities around the state.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently gave $420,000 to the Arkansas Department of Education as part of an over $40 million effort to identify lead in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities across the country.
Tim Cain, director of the Arkansas’ Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation, said the tests are only precautionary, but still important.
“What this did is it allowed for the opportunity for our schools and our daycare facilities to have the water tested for lead to protect the health of our children,” Cain said. “So, it’s more of a precaution. There are no known concerns that we’re aware of at this time.”
Testing is voluntary and schools and childcare centers should be allowed to apply to test its water by late March.
Cain said the money will pay for testing and outreach.
“The bulk of the funding will be used to pay for the testing lab contract,” Cain said. “And the remaining funds will be for a communications effort to reach out to schools and early childhood facilities that might want to participate.”
The Department of Education and Department of Health will provide staff to support the training, but no additional state funds will be provided.