Lead Service Line Replacement Program Eligibility

The LSLRP will provide grant funds to municipalities (city, village, town or consolidated health district) as defined in Public Health Law § 2(1)(i). Municipal eligibility has been predetermined by the Department based on criteria contained in the Act:

“Within each region, the department shall give priority to municipalities that have a high percentage of elevated childhood blood lead levels, based on the most recent available data. In distributing the awards allocated for each region to such priority municipalities, the department shall also consider whether the community is low income and the number of lead service lines in need of replacement.”

Eligibility Variables

To meet this directive, the following three data categories were chosen to evaluate and target potentially eligible municipalities: number of children with elevated blood lead levels (BLL), median household income (MHI), and the number of houses built before 1939 (<1939). Municipalities that meet thresholds for each data category were deemed eligible to receive LSLRP funding. The threshold values of each variable were chosen based on department review of available data.

Blood Lead Levels (BLL):

Childhood BLL data presents the number of children with a BLL of 5 μg/dL or higher. Data from 2011 to 2015 was utilized to calculate the percentage of a municipality’s children up to 6 years old, which represents the best data source available, with elevated BLL. To capture a sufficient number of municipalities per region, the threshold chosen was any municipality where 0.5% or greater of their children had elevated BLL. Due to the high population in the New York City Region, it is not practical to obtain the number of samples required to approach the 0.5% eligibility threshold. However, since there is only one municipality in the NYC Region, it was decided that the available BLL data would suffice for LSLRP eligibility purposes.

Median Household Income (MHI):

Median Household Income data is available for every municipality across New York State. Statewide MHI values range from $30,000 per year to over $230,000 per year. To compensate for this wide variability, which is often geographic, the MHI threshold was chosen based on regional average MHI. This way, neighboring municipalities would be compared to others in their region rather than statewide. To be eligible for the LSLRP, municipalities must have a MHI below 150% of their region’s average MHI.

The Number of Houses Built Before 1939 (<1939):

Due to the evolution of regulations and construction practices, the use of lead in water service lines for residential homes began decreasing in the 1930’s. Data showing the number of lead service lines per municipality is not available, so the LSLRP is utilizing housing data (specifically the number of homes constructed before 1939) as a surrogate for the presence of lead service lines. In reviewing this data, the number of residential houses built before 1939 ranged from 0 to over 400,000 per municipality. To capture a sufficient number of municipalities per region, the threshold chosen was 500 or more homes constructed before 1939.

Eligible Municipalities

Municipalities who meet the above eligibility thresholds will be listed with other municipalities in their region, based on the data from the three eligibility variables.