Ohio EPA Announces H2Ohio Funding to Replace Lead Service Lines

PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heidi Griesmer

Today, Ohio EPA announced that lead service lines and lead-containing fixtures will be removed and replaced at approximately 185 childcare facilities in Cincinnati as part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about sending their children to a childcare facility where they could be exposed to toxic lead,” said Governor DeWine. “As part of my H2Ohio initiative, we’re helping local communities address dangerous lead service lines to help ensure that children who are more susceptible to lead poisoning than adults have clean, safe drinking water.”

A total of $725,000 in H2Ohio funding is being awarded to the City of Cincinnati for the removal and replacement project. The Ohio Department of Health is also contributing funding for lead fixture testing through a federal award provided by U.S. EPA.

“Addressing lead service lines is not only a key goal under the H2Ohio initiative, but it’s also part of the Governor’s overall commitment to the health and well-being in Ohio’s minority communities, which often face a higher risk of lead poisoning,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “As outlined in Ohio’s Plan of Action to Advance Equity, we are committed to ensuring all Ohioans are equally protected from environmental and health hazards in drinking water.”

Lead enters drinking water primarily because of the corrosion of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and household plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome-plated brass faucets, and, in some cases, pipes made of lead that connect a building to the water main (service lines).

Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning, can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure, particularly the exposure of infants who drink baby formulas and concentrated juices that are mixed with water.

“Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) is very pleased and excited to receive this award,” said GCWW Director Cathy Bailey. “While GCWW has had a successful lead corrosion control program for years, we know the best way to reduce the risk of lead is to remove the lead lines. H2Ohio funding will allow us to work directly with child care providers to remove their lead lines and reduce the overall risk of lead.  We are thankful and thrilled that this funding will help us positively impact our community for many generations to come!”

As part of the H2Ohio initiative, Ohio EPA has also awarded a total of $2 million in funding for drinking water infrastructure projects in Pike County, Coshocton, and New Waterford. An additional $1.5 million in H2Ohio funding has been awarded for wastewater projects in Pomeroy, West Milton, and Williams County. More than $1.7 million was awarded to health departments in seven Northwest Ohio counties to address failing household sewage systems.

For more information on Gov. DeWine’s H2Ohio water quality plan, visit h2.ohio.gov.

-30-

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

X