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Public ​School Environmental ​​​Repairs Program

​Overview​​ | Eligible Applicants | Applicant Timeline | Eligibility Criteria and Funding | Eligible Repairs | Eligible Expenses | Ineligible Expenses | Application Process | Application Requirements | Funding Priorities | Other Requirements | Grant Award Selection and Notification Process | Grant Distribution Process | Resources | Contact


The Public School Environmental Repairs Program was established by Act 33 of 2023 to support public schools with remediating and/or abating environmental hazards in a school building or school buildings. This includes, but is not limited to, addressing lead in water sources and paint, asbestos, and mold. Eliminating lead and asbestos along with other environmental contaminants in schools lowers cumulative exposure throughout childhood, leads to better cognitive and overall health outcomes for children, and increases the likelihood of academic and career success.

The program was established under Article XXVI-L of the Public School Code and is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Program grant funding received by a school district may not be included when calculating the amount to be paid to a charter school under section 1725-A of the School Code (24 P.S. § 17-1725-A).

Eligible Applicant​s 

Eligible school entities include school districts, area career and technical schools, charter schools, and regional charter schools that operate school buildings.

Only one application will be accepted from each school entity. An application may contain one or more projects in more than one school building.

Application Timeline​ 

Eligible school entities may begin applying at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.

Applications will not be accepted before or after the application period. Late applications will not be accepted or reviewed.

Eligibility Cr​​iteria and Funding 

Up to $75 million in state funding will be competitively awarded to eligible school entities, contingent upon available funding.

Eligible school entities may request grant funding to remediate and/or abate environmental hazards in school buildings serving any combination of grades kindergarten through twelve.

Entities may request funding to remediate and/or abate environmental hazards in school buildings including, but not limited to, lead in water sources and paint, asbestos, and mold. Grants will be competitively awarded based on the type of and level of contamination, in addition to other factors outlined under Prioritization of Applications.

Entities may apply for funding for eligible expenses incurred on or after July 1, 2023.

Projects require a cash match of 50 percent of total eligible project costs. Matching funds are defined as funds necessary to complete the proposed project(s) and must be secured at the time of application submission. The local match may come from any non-state funding source, including federal or local money and donations. Applicants will identify the amount and source(s) of the local match in the application.

There is no minimum funding request to apply. The maximum total grant award is $10 million (i.e., a $20 million request could receive up to a $10 million grant).

Funds may be used for eligible expenses identified in these guidelines and as approved by the Department. Budgets will be reviewed to evaluate appropriateness and connection to proposed grant activities and goals. The Department may consult with content experts in the state departments of Environmental Protection, Health, and Labor & Industry.

Only one application will be accepted from each eligible school entity. The application may consist of more than one project in more than one school.

The Department reserves the right to make partial and full awards, based upon the merit of a specific item requested and/or available funding. Funding is not guaranteed for any applicant.

Eligible ​Repai​​rs 

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, the remediation and/or abatement of lead in water sources and paint, asbestos, and mold inside school buildings of eligible school entities.

Grants will be competitively awarded based on the type of and level of contamination, in addition to other factors outlined under Prioritization of Applications.

Eligible Exp​​enses 

Applicants may apply for funding to cover the following costs associated with eligible projects:

  • Water infrastructure improvements to address water contamination (e.g., costs associated with upgrading drinking water outlets and whole system remediation including consultant fees, installation, refinishing work for disturbed areas, and required post-work testing);
  • Installation of a point-of-use treatment device that is certified to reduce lead or other contaminants in accordance with National Science Foundation/ANSI standards;
  • Facility improvements to address asbestos or mold contamination, including consultant fees, refinishing work for disturbed areas, and required post-work testing; or
  • Other projects approved by the Department that remediate and/or abate environmental hazards in school buildings.

Ineligible Expens​​es 

An eligible school entity may not use program grant money for recurring upkeep on physical facilities, including cleaning, minor repair of fixtures or structures, painting unrelated to the abatement or remediation of lead paint or the regular servicing of heating, air conditioning, or other equipment.

Application ​​Process 

The application system can be accessed via MyPDESuite, eligible school entities may begin applying at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, 2024​.​​​

Applications will not be accepted before or after the application period. Late applications will not be accepted or reviewed.

School entities will apply using PDE's School Construction and Maintenance Management (SCMM) system, which is accessible through MyPDESuite. MyPDESuite is a web portal that enables users to access various PDE data collection applications. To access MyPDESuite, users must register a Keystone Login username/password and use those credentials to login to MyPDESuite. Applicants are strongly encouraged to register for MyPDESuite before the application window opens on May 1, 2024.

Application Requirem​​ents 

School entities must provide the following information in the application:

  1. Scope of Work/Statement of Purpose that describes the abatement or remediation project;
  2. Information related to the risk of exposure to environmental hazards;
  3. Documentation that supports the environmental hazards to be remedied, the estimated cost, and the source of local matching funds;
  4. Timeline to complete the work;
  5. Estimated cost of the project;
  6. Source and amount of local matching funds;
  7. Detailed spending plan that defines, by line item, all permissible categories of expenditure with the respective dollar amounts for each category. The budget must support the Scope of Work/Statement of Purpose; or
  8. Other information required by the department.

The Department will use a point system to score and rank applications in accordance with the factors described in this document.

Funding P​​​riorities 

The Department will prioritize eligible projects that abate or remediate environmental hazards (including, but not limited to, lead in water sources and paint, asbestos and mold in buildings) that present the greatest risk of exposure to environmental contaminants using the following information:

  1. Elevated lead levels in drinking water. Applicants must demonstrate that a building(s) has lead levels that exceed 5 parts per billion (ppb) and/or that the impacted building was constructed prior to 1991 (the date when the state's lead pipe ban on new construction was enacted).1
  2. The percentage of the population in the county where the project is located with a confirmed blood lead level over 5 mg/dL as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
  3. Contents of the application. The Department will consider the completeness of the application, and the merits of the request.
  4. Other factors such as determined by the Department. Other factors that may be considered include:
    • Whether the project poses an immediate risk to students and staff;
    • The grades and ages of the students impacted by the project;
    • The short- and long-term effectiveness of the remediation;
    • The school's ability to continue using the facility and providing students with in-person instruction and services; and
    • The applicant's most recent Aid Ratio.

The Department reserves the right to consider other factors in prioritization based on the applications received and to request additional information from applicants to assist with the review process.

Other Requirements​​ 

  1. Nondiscrimination: No assistance shall be awarded to an applicant under this Program unless the applicant certifies that the applicant shall not discriminate against any employee or against any person seeking employment by reason of race, gender, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, or in violation of any applicable federal laws. All contracts for work to be paid with grant funds must contain the Commonwealth's official nondiscrimination clause.
  2. Conflict of Interest: An officer, director, or employee of an applicant who is a party to or who has a private interest in a project shall disclose the nature and extent of the interest to the governing body of the applicant and may not vote on any action of the applicant concerning the project, nor participate in the deliberations of the applicant concerning the project.
  3. Project Records: The applicant must maintain full and accurate records with respect to the improvement project and must ensure adequate control over related parties in the improvement project. The Department retains the right to access such records, as well as the ability to inspect all work, invoices, materials, and other relevant records at reasonable times and places. The Department will randomly audit and monitor school entities that receive grant funding to ensure the appropriate use of program funds and compliance with provisions of the program.
  4. Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act: All or a portion of the construction work associated with the improvement project may be subject to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act, as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & ​Industry. It is the responsibility of the funding recipient to ensure that the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act is followed if applicable.
  5. Bidding Requirements: Applicants must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations dealing with bidding and procurement.
  6. Bid Tabulations: A qualifying application shall include an indication that the school entity received three qualified bids or estimates for the improvement project. This documentation must be provided as part of the application.
  7. Certification of Expenses: The applicant shall sign a payment request form certifying that the expenses were incurred and were in accordance with the scope of work approved by the Department. In lieu of a formal project audit and prior to final closeout of the grant agreement, the applicant shall be required to submit copies of all canceled checks verifying expenditure of the Public School Environmental Repairs Grant proceeds. Bank statements may also be submitted if electronic payment of the expenditure occurred.
  8. Final Improvement Project Report: A grant recipient shall submit to the Department a final report of the eligible environmental repairs project(s). The final report will outline activities that occurred during the project period, an evaluation of project outcomes, the grant provided, and total costs for the project(s).
  9. Guideline Provisions: The Public School Environmental Repairs Grant Program guideline provisions may be modified or waived by the Department unless otherwise required by law.

Grant Award Selec​​tion and Notification Process 

Reviewers will use an application review guide to review and score applications. Applications will be ranked from highest to lowest scoring. Successful applications meeting the criteria in the guidelines and law and under consideration for acceptance may require revisions or submission of additional information prior to approval.

The Department will notify each applicant of the outcome of the review process and whether its application will be funded.

Grant Distribut​​ion Process 

Upon approval of an application, a grant agreement and commitment letter will be electronically issued to the applicant explaining the terms and conditions of the grant. The Grantee must provide the names, titles, and e-mail addresses for two authorized individuals to receive and electronically sign the grant agreement. The grant agreement must be signed and returned to the Department within 45 days of the date of the commitment letter or the offer may be withdrawn.

Payments for grant agreements shall be made on a reimbursement basis. Advance payment requests for working capital, or for any other reason, is limited to 25% of the first-year grant amount. No payment shall be made to a grantee until the respective grant agreement is fully executed and all payments will be made through the Commonwealth's Automated Clearing House (ACH).

The Department recognizes that some projects may take longer than one year to complete. Grantees must expend funds within the timeframe identified in the grant agreement. At minimum, grantees will have one year from the grant date to expend funds.

Program grant funding received by a school district may not be included when calculating the amount to be paid to a charter school under section 1725-A of the School Code (24 P.S. § 17-1725-A).


Below are additional resources available to school entities that address the abatement or remediation of environmental hazards:



Additional Funding Opportunities

  • Public School Facility Improvement Grant Program – The Commonwealth Financing Authority, under the PA Department of Community Economic Development, received $100 million in state funding to administer the Public ​School Facility Improvement Grant Program during the 2023-24 fiscal year. Funding may be used for improvements such as roof replacements; heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment; energy saving projects; and internet connectivity as well as school emergencies. This program is open to school districts and career and technology centers. There is a minimum project request of $500,000. Eligible applicants may receive a maximum award of $5 million.
  • Children's Health Grants and Funding Opportunities | US EPA


For additional information applicants may contact Jesse Fry, Chief of the Division of School Facilities at

​1 Pennsylvania's Plumbing System Lead Ban and Notification Act (PA Lead Ban) became effective on January 6, 1991, and applies to all plumbing construction or repairs done after that date.​