Protect Children from Lead in Schools and Daycares

Lead in drinking water has severe consequences, having been linked to numerous health effects including decreased bone and muscle growth, damage to the nervous system and developmental delays. Lead exposure is particularly devastating to young children, whose developing brains and nervous systems are particularly susceptible. Despite this, schools and preschools in most states do not test for lead in drinking water. The “Lead-Safe Schools and Daycares Act” protects children from the dangers of lead by providing for drinking water lead testing at schools and daycares, following several states that have shown leadership on this issue.

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Frequently Asked Questions
How does this help?
This will protect kids from lead exposure, which is a particular threat for children. This bill will also help school officials and daycare owners by providing a standardized statewide system for testing.
Is this affordable?
By facilitating testing at the state level, states can design and deploy efficient testing kits and systems, and use federal and state grant programs to help schools and daycares cover costs.
  • Parents and families
  • Environmental advocates
  • Clean water advocates
  • Polluters that might be liable for lead contamination
Model Policy
This act shall be known as the Lead-Safe Schools and Daycares Act
The purpose of this bill is to ensure that drinking water in schools and daycares are free of lead contamination by facilitating testing of drinking water sources and systems.

(a) It is the goal of STATE to protect children from lead in drinking water.

(b) Accordingly, every school district and day care facility is hereby directed to conduct periodic first-drawn tap testing of potable water systems to monitor for lead contamination in each occupied school and day care building under its control pursuant to regulations to be issued by DEPARTMENT under this Section. The testing shall be conducted and the results analyzed by an entity or entities approved by the DEPARTMENT.
-(i) First-drawn tap testing shall not be required for school or day care facility buildings that have been deemed “lead-free” as defined by section 1417 of the federal safe drinking water act.
-(ii) The DEPARTMENT may grant a waiver from the testing
requirements of this section for certain buildings, provided that the school district or day care facility has substantially complied with the testing requirements and has been found to be below lead levels as determined by regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.

(c) Where a finding of lead contamination is made, the affected school district or day care facility shall:
-(i) continue first-drawn tap water testing pursuant to regulations promulgated pursuant to this section;
-(ii) provide occupants with an adequate supply of safe, potable water for drinking as required by rules and regulations of DEPARTMENT until future tests indicate lead levels pursuant to regulations promulgated pursuant to this section; and
-(iii) provide parents or guardians of children attending said school or day care facility with written notification of test results as well as posting such test results on the school district’s website.

(d) Each school district and day care facility conducting testing pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section shall make a copy of the results of all such testing and any lead remediation plans available to the public on its website and any additional means as chosen by such school district or day care facility. A copy of the results of all testing shall also be immediately transmitted to DEPARTMENT in a format to be determined by the commissioner and to the county department of health in the local jurisdiction of the school building.

(e) The DEPARTMENT shall publish a report biennially based on the findings from the tap water testing conducted according to the provisions of this section and transmit such report to the Governor and Legislature as well as posting it on DEPARTMENT website.

(f) Within 60 days of the passage of this legislation and annually thereafter, DEPARTMENT shall identify existing federal, state and other grant funds that can be made available to school districts and daycares to assist with the testing contemplated by this Section. In addition, subject to appropriation, DEPARTMENT may provide financial assistance to assist school districts and day care facilities with compliance with this section when such compliance imposes an unreasonable financial hardship in accordance with regulations issued by DEPARTMENT.

(g) Day care facilities as referenced in this Section shall include child day care centers, group family day care homes, and family day care homes licensed or registered with STATE or jurisdictions within STATE.