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Feature Story

February 2018


CPSC Offers $1.1 Million in Pool Safely Grants

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By Chandler Garland

On January 2, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a 90-day solicitation seeking applicants for a special Pool Safety Grant Program (PSGP) for the 2018 fiscal year. The CPSC expects to award $1.1 million in two-year grants to state and local governments for assistance in reducing deaths and injuries from drowning and drain entrapment.

The grants are made possible by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB Act), named for a fatal drain accident in June 2002. The legislation was authored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) Florida and passed in 2007. The PSGP for the 2018 fiscal year seeks to provide state and local governments with assistance for education, training and enforcement of pool safety requirements found in this Act and other federal statutes.

All state and local governments, including U.S. territories, are encouraged to apply. In order to receive the grant, applicants must demonstrate to the CPSC the existence of a state or local law that meets the requirements specified in sections 1405 and 1406 of the VGB Act. The basics of these sections outline the inclusion of:

  • The enclosure of all outdoor residential pools and spas.
  • The proper equipping of pools and spas with devices and systems designed to prevents entrapment in drains.
  • All pools and spas built more than a year after the enactment of this law must have: more than one drain; one or more unblocked drains; or, no main drain.

The full VGB Act document can be found at the CPSC's website at www.poolsafety.gov, along with the CPSC's own safety guidelines and PSGP information. The CPSC's website offers a range of free, downloadable resources for state and local officials, as well as the general public.

"These grants provide critical support for state and local officials to educate consumers about drowning and entrapment dangers and to enforce pool safety laws in their communities," said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. "During this 10-year anniversary of the VGB Act, we are recognizing the important role of the VGB grant program in helping to reduce the number of drowning and drain entrapment incidents. These funds will assist state and local programs to continue this lifesaving work to reduce such tragedies."

The deadline for all applications is April, 2 2018. Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the solicitation on Grants.gov, under grant opportunity CPSC-18-001. Grants will be awarded on June 2, 2018.


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