ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Advocates offered a five-point plan to get lead out of school drinking water.
Advocates want the state to pay for annual testing of school water.
The plan includes the following:
- Mandate that all schools test their water for lead and copper contamination at the tap
- Provide safe drinking water if elevated lead levels are in school drinking and cooking water
- Tell test results to parents and teachers quickly
- Funding to pay for remediation such as filters or new pipes
- Annual report from school water testing by the state Department of Health
Right now, there is no federal regulation requiring schools that use municipal water to test for lead.
The plan comes after lead issues surfaced in schools in both the Ithaca and Binghamton areas. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s action level for lead is 15 ppb. One school measured had more than 480 ppb.
Dr. Ralph Spezio was a long term principal at a school in Rochester. He says almost three quarters of the children were seriously lead poisoned.
Local lawmakers are already supporting a bill that would do just that. Both Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara says this points to a larger infrastructure problems.
They say drastic measures may need to be taken to make sure children aren’t drinking lead contaminated water.
Advocates want the five point plan passed before the end of the session. Lawmakers say it can be done.
Some local schools like the Schenectady School District are already taking measures to test their water on their own.