GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $10 MILLION AWARDED TO COMMUNITIES FOR SECOND ROUND OF REPLACEMENT OF RESIDENTIAL DRINKING WATER LEAD SERVICE LINES
Announcement Builds on Previous $20 Million Awarded Through the NYS Department of Health's Lead Service Line Replacement Program
Awards are Key Component of New York's Historic $3 Billion Commitment to Clean Water Infrastructure
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $10 million will be awarded to 18 municipalities statewide to continue the state's initiative to replace residential drinking water lead service lines through the New York State Department of Health's Lead Service Line Replacement Program. The successful program has already awarded $20 million to communities to help offset replacement costs and is a key component of New York's $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017. The FY 2019 Budget continued the State's historic multi-year investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with an additional $500 million commitment, which includes $10 million in funding for this program.
"New York has invested unprecedented funding to protect drinking water quality including critical infrastructure projects that are underway across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "This next round of funding advances our commitment to helping municipalities upgrade outdated systems, helping improve health and keep our communities thriving."
The municipalities receiving the next round of Lead Service Line Replacement Program awards are:
City of Hudson - $548,422
This next round of awards follows $20 million allocated in the first round to 26 cities and towns, many of whose projects have been approved for construction.
Eligibility for municipalities to participate in the Lead Service Line Replacement Program was based on the following criteria: percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels; median household income; and number of homes built before 1939 when lead service lines were used. Grants will be used to replace residential lead service lines from the municipal water main to the residence.
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said,"Eliminating exposure to lead, in all its forms, is essential to healthy development. This program is successfully targeting our highest-risk communities where replacing lead drinking water service lines can make a real difference in the future health and well-being of children."
Lead is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women. Replacing residential lead service lines is another example of New York's forward-acting commitment to removing lead from our living environment. In 2007, New York introduced its Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention initiative, which helps local health departments shape prevention activities in at-risk neighborhoods across the state. In 2016, New York State expanded its lead reduction strategies to schools by adopting first-in-the-nation mandated lead testing for drinking water in public schools and required public notification of results. The State currently has 100 percent compliance with school testing, and retesting will occur in 2020.
Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing in lead and is especially bad for young children whose brains are still developing. Lead can harm a child's growth, behavior and ability to learn. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should take extra care to avoid lead as it can be harmful to babies before they are born.
New York State requires health care providers to test all children for lead with a blood lead test at age one and again at age two. At every well-child visit up to age six, health care providers must ask parents about any contact their child might have had with lead. If there was a chance of contact, providers are required to test for lead again. Parents can ask their child's doctor or nurse if their child should get a lead test and what the lead test results mean.
For more information about New York's Lead Service Line Replacement Program, click here.
For more information about New York's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, click here.
For more information about New York's first-in-the-nation Lead Testing in Schools Regulation, click here.