Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that his H2Ohio initiative is investing an additional $1.5 million to help local communities identify, inventory, and map lead service lines across the state.
Ohio EPA began accepting applications for the H2Ohio Lead Line Mapping Grant Program today. Public water systems that do not have the financial means to properly assess where their lead service lines are located are eligible to receive up to $50,000.
“There is no safe level of lead exposure, which is why I remain committed to helping our local communities locate and remove lead pipes,” said Governor DeWine. “No one should need to worry that their drinking water is hurting their health, and we will continue to offer support to communities that need assistance addressing toxic lead pipes.”
This is the second round of grant funding available as part of the H2Ohio Lead Line Mapping Grant Program. In May, Governor DeWine announced $2.1 million to help 48 public water systems take the first step toward removing and replacing lead water pipes.
“These grants will help communities create true and accurate maps of lead lines in their communities, which will enable them to be prepared to take the next step of replacing them,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson, whose office is administering the grant program.
Ohio EPA will accept grant applications until September 9, 2022.
Lead-based paint and its dust are the most common source of lead poisoning, but lead in drinking water can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure. Today, most water service lines are copper or galvanized iron, but an estimated 6.1 million lead water lines remain across the nation. Lead primarily enters drinking water when materials containing lead in water distribution systems and household plumbing corrode.
While lead poisoning can affect individuals of all ages, children are at greatest risk. Children’s bodies absorb lead more efficiently than adults, and they are less able than adults to detoxify their bodies of lead.
Since taking office in 2019, Governor DeWine has been an unwavering leader in his work to address the consequences of lead poisoning and to increase lead abatement. Working with the legislature, he expanded early intervention services to include children with elevated blood lead levels. He also formed a Lead Advisory Committee to help steer the state’s efforts to abate and remediate lead contamination. More than $44 million in grants were offered for the identification and elimination of lead paint in Ohio homes. In addition, the Ohio Department of Health provided lead abatements to low-income and middle-class families who own contaminated homes; created a repayment program for abatement workers and contractors who earn licenses; strengthened enforcement of lead hazard control orders; and created a public awareness campaign for the new Lead-Safe Housing Registry. As part of the H2Ohio initiative, Ohio EPA has also awarded funding for lead service line replacement projects at childcare facilities in Cincinnati and Cleveland.