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Governor Noem Announces Lead Testing and Mitigation Reimbursement Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 30, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Brian Walsh, 773-3296

FOR PROJECT DETAILS: Visit https://denr.sd.gov/des/dw/LeadChildcareFac.aspx


Governor Noem Announces Lead Testing and Mitigation Reimbursement Program


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced a new lead testing and mitigation reimbursement program for licensed child care programs and registered family day care providers. The program provides water testing and reimbursement funds should mitigation be needed, ensuring our children have access to safe drinking water.


The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) partnered to develop the program. Enrollment begins on October 30, 2020.


“When it comes to lead in drinking water, children are our most vulnerable population,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Working together, DENR and DSS developed this program to make sure our children have safe drinking water while in daycare. This is good for South Dakota, our families, and our future.”


The new program supports two actions. First, funding for voluntary lead testing at licensed child care programs and registered family day care providers to determine if the facility’s plumbing or equipment is adding lead to the water. Second, if lead problems are found, the program provides technical assistance and reimbursement funds to fix the problem. Short-term solutions include providing water pitcher filter kits with a 1-year supply of replacement filters to facilities with sample results exceeding the lead action level. Long-term solutions include equipment or plumbing replacement, or installation of point-of-use treatment systems. Varying reimbursement amounts are available depending on the type of solution needed.  


There are more than 420 licensed child care centers, and 405 registered family daycare providers across South Dakota.  The program is anticipated to be available through the spring of 2021 and is set to end in June of 2021.


Program funding is provided by the federal Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016 and DSS Child Care Services dollars. Technical assistance and program support provided by 120Water.


For more information about the program please visit https://denr.sd.gov/des/dw/LeadChildcareFac.aspx or contact Erin Fagnan at 605-394-2229.


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