Broad-based Water Infrastructure Investment Package Unveiled Today Includes Booker Provision to Expand Lead Testing of School Drinking Water

Senate Democratic plan to remove lead from pipes includes Booker provision to establish grant program to aid school districts in testing their drinking water for lead

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Senate Democrats introduced a broad-based new plan today that strengthens the federal government’s role in water infrastructure investment, lead remediation and drinking water protection, and a provision co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to help school districts across the country test their drinking water for potential lead contamination is a key component.

“Under no circumstance should the health and safety of our children be jeopardized by water quality, particularly in a school,” Sen. Booker said. “It is vital that we keep our kids safe by ensuring schools are systematically testing for lead in drinking water. This provision will provide local school districts in New Jersey and across the country with more resources to do just that.”

The provision, led by Booker and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), will create a new $100 million federal grant program through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would help school districts across the country test their drinking water for potential lead contamination. This grant program was originally part of a 1988 bill called the Lead Contamination Control Act, but the legislative text outlining the program was struck down by the courts due to a drafting error.

The bill is a part of the “True LEADership Act of 2016,” a bold, broad-based new plan introduced today by Senate Democrats that re-commits the federal government to a critical role in water infrastructure investment, lead remediation and the strong drinking water protections provided by the EPA. This plan will address the scourge of lead-laden water and housing across America and improve our nation’s water infrastructure, while creating thousands of new clean water jobs.

Last week, Booker also introduced legislation with Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) requiring states to help schools test for lead if those states receive federal funding for safe water programs. Under the bill, if a level of lead in a school water system exceeds the EPA’s lead action level, the school must notify parents, the EPA administrator, and the state in which they are located.

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