Reps. Brenda Lawrence, Mike Quigley Introduce the “Get the Lead Out of Schools Act”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Lawrence (MI-14) and Rep. Quigley (IL-05) introduced the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act which helps ensure our children have access to safe drinking water. The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a lead contamination testing program for schools and create a grant program to help school districts conduct lead testing and assist with remediation efforts.
“When we send our children to school, we expect them to have a healthy and safe learning environment. However, families across our country are facing the threat of drinking water contaminated with dangerous neurotoxins like lead. Growing children are especially vulnerable to the damaging and irreversible health effects caused by lead exposure. As we have seen in cities from Flint to Baltimore and the recent Detroit Public Schools drinking water shutoff, contaminated water is a crisis in our communities. Safe drinking water is a fundamental right and ensuring our children have access to safe drinking water at school must be a priority.” — Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence
“Lead in school drinking water poses an invisible yet grave threat to our children’s wellbeing, and it is a threat that demands the immediate attention of every parent, citizen, and level of government,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL). “By finally requiring the EPA to establish a lead contamination testing program for all schools, we can better ensure that our kids’ classrooms are safe, healthy spaces for them to learn and grow.” — Congressman Mike Quigley
There is currently no federal law requiring the testing of drinking water in schools. A Government Accountability Office report published in July 2018 found that 57% of U.S. school districts did not test their water or did not know whether they had tested their water for lead. This nationwide problem has affected school districts across the country. On August 28, 2018, the Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District shut off drinking water at all 106 schools in the district after water testing revealed elevated levels of lead. Most communities are in need of resources to investigate their water infrastructure and improved guidance on remediating identified contaminant risks.