EPA $6M Grant for Lead Testing at California Daycare Centers

August 6, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a $6,137,000 grant to the California Department of Social Services to support testing for lead in drinking water at child daycare centers.


AB 2370 was signed into law in September 2018 and was effective as of January 1, 2019.    The law does not directly impact public water systems.   The law has two basic components regarding lead exposure at child daycare centers:

  1. Day care centers are required to provide parents or guardians with written information on the following:
    1. Risks and effects of lead exposure,
    2. Blood lead testing recommendations and requirements, and
    3. Options for obtaining blood lead testing.
  2. Day care centers located in a building constructed on or before January 1, 2010 must test for lead in drinking water between January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2023, and every five years thereafter.

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) in consultation with the California Department of Public Health developed the written information required in item #1 above.  That material was posted on the CDSS web site (https://ccc.caltech.edu/files/2019/03/AB-2370-Lead-Bill-Flyer-CCLPO2.pdf).

Laboratories are to electronically send the lead results to the SWRCB and the SWRCB is required to post the results on its web site.  If the results indicate “elevated” levels of lead, the day care center is to immediately stop using that source of drinking water. CDSS is required to consult with the SWRCB regarding sample collection and any changes regarding the lead Action Level.  According to the Division of Drinking Water’s (DDW) Regulatory Priorities for 2019, DDW recommended that CDSS use a lead Action Level of 5 µg/L for this program.