Millett introduces bill to improve testing for lead in school drinking water

Posted: February 21, 2019 | Health and Human Services, Senator Millett

AUGUSTA — A bill sponsored by Sen. Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, would strengthen and improve testing for lead in drinking and cooking water in Maine schools. LD 153, “An Act To Strengthen Testing for Lead in School Drinking Water,” received a public hearing before the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

“Lead is a serious toxin that can cause long-term health concerns, including cognitive problems and developmental delays,” said Sen. Millett. “We already do so much to make sure children aren’t exposed to lead in their homes. It’s time we make sure our children are safe from lead exposure in school, too.”

Currently, only schools that are on well water are required to test for lead contamination in drinking and cooking water. Sen. Millett’s bill would require all schools to test for lead contamination in drinking and cooking water. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to establish rules and protocols for this requirement, and would open the School Revolving Renovation Fund to schools that need to make improvements to mitigate lead contamination.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, children who are exposed to lead can suffer damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.

No one testified against the bill in the public hearing.

The bill faces further action in the committee and votes before the full Maine House and Senate.