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Federal Funds to Help Lead Cleanup in N.H. School Water

John K via Flickr CC


The Department of Education has received $1.6 million in federal funds to help schools pay for upgrades to water systems found to have lead.

The grant is coming through the N.H Department of Environmental Services, which received the money as part of a 2013 settlement with Exxon Mobil.

A New Hampshire law passed in February 2017 requires all schools to test for lead in their water by July 1, 2018. If the schools have lead, they must begin remediation.


Once this process begins, schools can apply for reimbursement from the DOE.

DOE Commissioner Frank Edelblut says he doesn't know yet if the grant will cover all costs, because some schools just started testing, and don't know the extent of lead contamination.

"It could be a very easy fix, or it could be quite extensive depending on what the findings are," he says. "If schools found that there were a number of problems, I'm happy to make another grant application for further funding to help support these efforts if needed."

The DOE is also applying for federal funds to reimburse schools for the cost of lead testing, which for now falls to the district.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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