HARRISBURG – Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), along with Rep. Patrick Harkins (D-Erie), today announced introduction of House Bill 2025, which would help address the threat of lead in drinking water in Pennsylvania’s schools.
From 2012-2015, Pennsylvania topped the list of states for the number times that elevated levels of lead were found in our daycare and school drinking water.
Representative Boback’s House Bill 2025 creates the tools to address this by doing the following:
Establishing a regular testing regimen for all water in schools used for drinking and cooking;
Requiring test results to be disclosed to parents
Setting a statewide standard for lead in school water to 5 parts per billion, the same standard for bottled water in the Commonwealth.
“Article 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states, ‘The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment,’” said Boback. “I believe strongly that such legislation is necessary to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our children, and that it is the responsibility of the Commonwealth to provide for a safe environment in our schools.”
The PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center released a report that gave Pennsylvania a grade of “F” with regard to the amount of lead in school drinking water.
“Most parents would be shocked to learn that there are almost no standards protecting our children from lead in their school drinking water. We’re addressing that today,” said Stephanie Wein, Clean Water Advocate for PennEnvironment. “In an era of political gridlock and hyper-partisanship, it’s exciting that our elected leaders on both sides of the aisle can come together to protect our children from the threat of lead in our drinking water.”
“As a parent and a legislator, I know that it’s crucial we tackle the threat of lead in drinking water. This health risk threatens Pennsylvania’s urban, rural and suburban residents,” noted Harkins. “This bill offers a set of commonsense and cost-effective solutions to reduce the risk of lead in drinking water.”
News out of Flint, Michigan, brought the issue of lead in public drinking water to the nation’s attention.
The bill has been introduced and enjoys bipartisan support from 50 House members.