Senators would allocate $3 million to test drinking water

Acting to address heightening concerns about elevated levels of lead in school drinking water, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Ronald L. Rice and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz today sent a letter to David C. Hespe, the state commissioner of Education, asking for immediate steps to test the drinking water in every New Jersey school.

They want any discovery followed by remediation and parental notification if the tests reveal dangerous levels of contamination of lead, extending panic over the recent of heavy metal in Flint, Michigan and other water supplies.

The senators are calling for immediate action in advance of legislation they just introduced requiring these steps “to ensure that our school children are protected from lead poisoning, and to provide their parents with the public health information that they need to make informed decisions to protect their children.”

The bill would allocate $3 million to perform the water tests.

Lead has harmful effects on children and efforts were made decades ago to remove the substance from paint and other things in which young people come in contact.

Attempts to save money have resulted in increased levels of the toxic substance in drinking water because chemicals used to purify water tend to deteriorate pipes.


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