drinking fountain

Update: House committee approves $36 million for schools to get the lead out

Progress on ensuring safe drinking water for kids, as the House Appropriations Committee approves $36 million to help schools get the lead out.

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John Rumpler
Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney

Author: John Rumpler

Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney

(617) 747-4306

On staff: 1988-1993; 2003-present 
B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Philosophy Prize at Tufts University; J.D. Northeastern University School of Law

John directs Environment America's efforts to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and drinking water. John’s areas of expertise include lead and other toxic threats to drinking water, factory farms and other sources of agribusiness pollution, algal blooms, fracking and the federal Clean Water Act. John has coordinated several successful campaigns to win a cleanup plan for the Chesapeake Bay, enact the federal Clean Water Rule, and implement state policies to curb runoff pollution. He has testified before Congress and co-authored several reports on fracking, agribusiness pollution and lead in schools' drinking water. He previously worked as a staff attorney for Alternatives for Community & Environment and Tobacco Control Resource Center. John lives in Brookline, Mass., with his family, where he enjoys cooking, running, playing tennis, chess and building sandcastles on the beach.

The House Appropriations Committee has approved $36 million for schools to stop lead contamination of their drinking water. The bipartisan infrastructure law authorized $200 million over five years for this purpose, and the second year of that funding is now included in the FY23 Interior and Environment spending bill.

With this bill, the Appropriations Committee has continued a small but steady stream of funding to help ensure safe drinking water at school. Kids are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead - including stunted growth, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. Yet we allowed fountains, pipes, and plumbing to be made with lead, and now lead contamination of schools’ water is pervasive - in suburbs, cities, and rural communities. 

We know what it takes to stop this lead contamination - installing filters and replacing lead-bearing fountains, faucets, pipes and plumbing.Thanks to the leadership of Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Subcommittee Chair Chellie Pingree (ME-01), school districts are one step closer to having additional resources to implement these health-protective measures.

If the funding receives final approval from Congress, school districts wil be able to access it through a grant program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Other funding sources are also available to schools, as explained in our Get the Lead Out toolkit.

John Rumpler
Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney

Author: John Rumpler

Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney

(617) 747-4306

On staff: 1988-1993; 2003-present 
B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Philosophy Prize at Tufts University; J.D. Northeastern University School of Law

John directs Environment America's efforts to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and drinking water. John’s areas of expertise include lead and other toxic threats to drinking water, factory farms and other sources of agribusiness pollution, algal blooms, fracking and the federal Clean Water Act. John has coordinated several successful campaigns to win a cleanup plan for the Chesapeake Bay, enact the federal Clean Water Rule, and implement state policies to curb runoff pollution. He has testified before Congress and co-authored several reports on fracking, agribusiness pollution and lead in schools' drinking water. He previously worked as a staff attorney for Alternatives for Community & Environment and Tobacco Control Resource Center. John lives in Brookline, Mass., with his family, where he enjoys cooking, running, playing tennis, chess and building sandcastles on the beach.