A new bill aiming to improve drinking water quality in New York schools will soon be delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for approval after it passed in both the state senate and assembly.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried announced Monday that the Assembly passed legislation to improve water quality in schools by strengthening water testing requirements for lead. That includes increasing the frequency of testing, removing testing exemptions, and lowering lead action levels.
High lead levels in children can bring lifetime problems including reduced cognitive function, learning disabilities, and aggressive behavior.
Here is what the bill would do:
- It would increase required school water testing frequency for lead from periodic to triennial.
- It would require that safe drinking water be provided by school districts to school occupants free of charge if lead is detected.
- The lead action level would be set at 0.005 milligrams per liter, rather than the current 0.015.
- Remove testing exemptions for certain schools. Current law allows exemptions from lead testing for schools deemed “lead-free” under federal requirements, but that federal definition of “lead-free” allows up to 0.25% of lead in testing.
- Require that laboratory reports be made public as a part of existing disclosure requirements for testing results.
- Providing remediation funding through clean water infrastructure programs.
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Jun 29, 2021