The Children's Health Award Recognizes a Multi-Agency Partnership to Encourage Lead and Copper Testing in Public Schools
BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust's Lead in Drinking Water Assistance Program received the Children's Health Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award recognizes the programs efforts to encourage more public schools and day care centers to test for lead and copper in their school drinking water.
"We are honored to receive this award from the EPA recognizing the hard work done to ensure safe drinking water for our students," said Treasurer Goldberg, chair of the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust. "I am proud to work collaboratively to provide our schools and day care centers the funds they need to test water in their buildings."
"It is an honor to receive this environmental merit award on behalf of the Baker-Polito Administration from EPA recognizing the important work that has been accomplished to protect the health of thousands of students and school staff," said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. "This program has been a success thanks to the collaborative efforts of our partners at the Clean Water Trust, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Early Education and Care, and the Department of Public Health."
The program is designed to encourage more schools to perform lead and copper testing with the help of experts at MassDEP. Under current federal laws, testing in schools is voluntary and this program is designed to help schools implement effective testing programs and take water samples and to educate them about how to address elevated levels.
The testing program was funded last year with $2.75 million made available by the Baker-Polito Administration and Treasurer Goldberg through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust.
Since the launch of the program, more than 150 communities received technical assistance and more than 800 school buildings had plans to map out all fixtures to be tested. In addition, nearly 56,000 water samples were collected from about 32,000 faucets, fountains and other fixtures in schools.
The EPA's Environmental Merit Awards Program has honored teachers, citizen activists, business leaders, scientists, public officials and others who have made outstanding contributions on behalf of the region's public health and natural environment. The Massachusetts Lead in Drinking Water Team were among 28 recipients across New England honored for their work to protect New England's environment.
Press Secretary/Public Affairs Director
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
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