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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 29, 2020 01:44 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Increasing Testing for Lead in Public Water Systems
For more than a century, the dangers of consuming lead have been well recognized. Ingesting even small quantities damages young brains and may raise the risk of heart problems. Yet Pennsylvania residents, along with those in many other states, still receive water from taps largely fed by lead pipes. In recent surveys by the American Water Works Association, nearly a third of U.S. water systems reported service lines containing lead.

Although legislation and regulations at the federal level have helped reduce water lead concentrations over the past two decades, a 1986 law that banned lead pipes in public water systems did not require removing and replacing lead pipes already in the ground. As a result, lead pipes are still carrying water into millions of homes across the Commonwealth more than thirty years later. Tucked underground and out of sight for most Americans, these aging conduits remain a risk for tens of millions of people.

To build a better, healthier Pennsylvania, we need to know the extent of problems such as lead in drinking water. With this in mind, my legislation would require more frequent testing to identify elevated lead concentrations in our public water systems. Under current law, this testing only occurs at a limited number of sample sights every three years. My bill would require a complete test of all sample sites every three years, in addition to testing a reduced number of sample sites annually.

By requiring more frequent testing, we will be able to identify elevated levels of lead and remediate these issues before they cause irreversible damage to the health of Pennsylvanians.

Introduced as HB748