Legislature approves Millett bill to ensure safe drinking water in schools

Posted: April 10, 2018 | Education and Cultural Affairs, Senator Millett

AUGUSTA — The Maine Legislature approved a bill from Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, that would ensure safe drinking water in Maine schools in initial votes on Tuesday.

LD 40, “An Act to Strengthen Requirements for Water Testing for Schools,” would require all schools to test drinking and cooking water for lead contamination.

“We know that no level of lead is safe for our children. Lead exposure can have serious long-term consequences on the developing brain of a child. And we know lead contamination doesn’t just happen in other states, it has happened here,” said Sen. Millett. “My bill would require schools to test for the presence of lead early on and act quickly to mitigate the problem.”

Current Maine law only requires water testing in schools that do not use public water sources. However, schools using public water sources are not immune to contamination. Several state investigations have found that schools using public water have tested positive for high lead levels. LD 40 would close this loophole and keep more children safe from harmful toxins.

The bill will now return to the Senate for enactment.