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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 22, 2016 02:24 PM
From: Senator Art Haywood and Sen. John T. Yudichak, Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Sen. Wayne D. Fontana, Sen. Shirley M. Kitchen, Sen. Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: LEAD PACKAGE: Lead Testing in Schools
In the near future we plan to introduce a package of bills to address the recent reports surrounding elevated lead levels in the Commonwealth.

News reports on the contaminated water supply in Flint, Michigan have brought the conversation about lead to the national forefront. We believe we must be proactive in analyzing Pennsylvania’s lead situation to protect our residents against the possibility of a Flint-like incident occurring here.

A 2014 Department of Health study found that children in more than eighteen communities throughout the Commonwealth have tested positive for lead at levels higher than those in Flint. Some of the communities in that report are: Allentown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Erie, Johnstown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Reading, and Scranton.

While the tragedy in Flint focuses on the water supply, the dangers of lead in Pennsylvania also extend to our schools, day cares, and housing stock through lead-based paint. It is time we take action to analyze the commonwealth’s potential lead issues and ensure that our children and our communities are safe.

The second bill in our package requires that every school building be tested for lead prior to the start of the school year. Testing will include water, paint, and soil. Results of the test would be sent to parents of every child enrolled in the school as well as be posted on the school district’s website. If a school tests at lead levels higher than the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) acceptable amount, they would be required to submit a remediation plan to the Department of Education.

Please join us in cosponsoring this bill.

Introduced as SB17