Memorandum of Understanding - Fact Sheet | National Review | L...                                      9/21/2009 11:17 AM
                                         http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lcrmr/lead_review_mou_factsheet.html
                                                           Last updated on Thursday, August 24th, 2006.
                      Lead in Drinking  Water
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                       Memorandum of Understanding - Fact Sheet
         Fact  Sheet on the Memorandum  of Understanding on
         Reducing Lead  Levels in  Drinking  Water  in  Schools
         and  Child Care  Facilities
         June  2005	

         The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed a            EPA 816-4-OF-015, June 2005
         memorandum of understanding (MOU) with several federal agencies,
         state drinking water programs, and drinking water associations that represent water utilities to
         promote voluntary efforts to reduce children's lead exposure in schools and child care facilities. The
         MOU represents an unprecedented  partnership between EPA, Department of  Education, the Centers
         for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Water Works Association, the Association of
         Metropolitan Water Agencies, the National Association of Water  Companies, the National Rural
         Water Association, and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators to focus attention on
         testing for lead in drinking water for schools and child care facilities.

         The signatories have agreed to encourage schools and child care facilities to take steps such as
         testing drinking water for lead; disseminating results to parents, students, staff and other interested
         stakeholders; and taking appropriate and necessary actions to correct problems. The signatories
         also agree to encourage drinking water utilities to assist schools and child care  facilities in their
         efforts to understand and reduce lead exposure from drinking water.

               How does lead get into school and child care facility drinking water?
               What are the current requirements for testing lead in schools and child care facilities?
               Why is EPA participating in this MOU?
               Who are the  signatories of the MOU?
               What are the health effects  from lead?
               Why is it  important to focus efforts on testing schools, even middle schools or high schools?
               How is the EPA reaching child care facilities?
               What other actions does EPA plan to take to reduce lead  in drinking water in schools and
               child care facilities?


         How does lead  get into school and  child care facility  drinking water?
         Treated water that is provided by water utilities does not normally contain lead. However, if the
         water is corrosive, it can cause lead to leach from lead-bearing components in the utility's
         distribution system or in home or building plumbing fixtures. In  the past, some water fountains in
         schools had lead-lined chiller tanks that could leach lead. The Lead Contamination Control Act of
         1988 banned the use of such tanks and required that schools and day care centers replace or repair
         water fountains that had lead-lined chiller tanks. In the early 1990's,  EPA provided information to
         assist states and  schools in identifying  the types of water coolers that contained lead, and schools
         worked to remove or replace them. However, lead can still leach from bronze alloy fixtures  and
         valves that make up internal building plumbing. The only way to be sure the tap water that comes
         from a school faucet or fountain does not have elevated lead levels is to have it tested.

         What are the current requirements for testing  lead in schools and  child care facilities?
         Schools and child care facilities that have their own water  supply are considered to be
         non-community public water systems and are therefore subject to  drinking water regulations,
                                                     http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lcrmr/lead review mou factsheet.html

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Memorandum of Understanding - Fact Sheet | National Review | L...                                         9/21/2009 11:17 AM


         including the Lead and Copper Rule. There is no federal law requiring sampling of drinking water in
         schools that receive water from other public water systems. Although schools may be included as a
         sampling location (i.e., tap) for a public water system's lead and copper monitoring program, there
         are no federal requirements for more extensive testing. States and local jurisdictions may, however,
         establish programs for testing drinking water lead levels in schools and child care facilities. EPA has
         issued guidance documents designed to help schools and child care facilities develop  and implement
         a sampling protocol to test for lead in their drinking water.

         Why is EPA participating in this MOU?
         EPA believes exposure to lead is a significant health concern, particularly for young children  and
         infants. Adverse health effects from lead in children can include impaired mental development.
         Because children spend a significant part of the day in school and child care facilities, understanding
         and reducing lead exposures in those facilities is particularly important. We have made significant
         progress in reducing lead in the environment from all sources,  including the nation's drinking water,
         but our work is not finished.

         Who are the signatories of the MOU?
         The signatories of the MOU  are the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water of the EPA, the
         Assistant Deputy Secretary  for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools of the U.S. Department of
         Education (DoED), the Acting Director of the  National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for
         Toxic Substances and  Disease Registry of the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
         Executive Director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the  Executive Director of the
         Association of Metropolitan  Water Agencies (AMWA), the Executive Director of the Association of
         State  Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), the Executive Director of the National Association of
         Water  Companies (NAWC),  and the Executive Director of the National  Rural Water Association
         (NRWA).

         What are the health effects from lead?
         The adverse health effects from lead include impaired  mental development, IQ deficits, shorter
         attention spans, and lower birth weight. Exposure to lead is a significant health concern, particularly
         in young children and infants whose bodies tend to absorb more lead than the average adult.

         Why is it important  to focus efforts on testing schools, even middle schools or high
         schools?
         Although the CDC has stated that the at-risk population for lead exposure is children under the age
         of six,  this MOU is focused on both schools and child care  facilities.  EPA believes that it is a good
         idea to reduce lead levels even if the school includes children over the age of six. Teachers or older
         students could be pregnant  and fetuses are very susceptible to environmental factors.

         How is the EPA reaching  child care facilities?
         We believe that educating owners of child care facilities is an extremely important part of the MOU
         effort.  The owners of many  of these facilities may be unaware of potential drinking water issues.
         With the help of the CDC, EPA intends to reach the child care community through State Health
         Departments that license and register child care facilities. EPA also plans to reach the child care
         community by working with national child care organizations, such  as the National Child Care
         Association (NCCA).

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         What other actions does  EPA plan to take to reduce lead  in drinking water in schools and
         child  care facilities?
         EPA intends to undertake a  number of actions, including:

               An update to EPA's guidance on "Lead in Drinking  Water in Schools and  Non-Residential
                Buildings" (EPA 812-B-94-002, April 1994). This document will focus on schools and will be
                                                       http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lcrmr/lead review  mou factsheet.html

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Memorandum of Understanding - Fact Sheet | National Review | L...                                          9/21/2009 11:17 AM


                updated and revised to be less technical and more relevant for the use of school officials.
               An update to EPA's guidance on "Sampling for Lead in Drinking Water in Nursery Schools
                and Day Care  Facilities" (EPA 812-B-94-003, April 1994). This document will focus on child
                care facilities and will be updated and revised to be less technical and more relevant for the
                use of child care facility officials.
               An effort to raise awareness and provide tools and guidance on the issue of lead in drinking
                water in schools and child care facilities. The effort will promote testing of drinking water,
                remediation, and sharing of the results of testing.
               Development of a new guidance on "Implementation Guidance for the Lead & Copper Rule
                for Schools & Child Care Centers." This document will focus on schools and child care
                facilities that are also public water systems to ensure that they have information on
                regulatory requirements
                                                         http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lcrmr/lead  review mou factsheet.html

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