Legislation mandating that
Federal laws in 1986 required that only “lead-free” materials be used in new plumbing and plumbing fixtures but still allowed certain fixtures with up to 8 percent lead to be labeled “lead free.” Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2011 appropriately redefined the meaning of “lead free.” Even so, it’s possible that older plumbing may leach lead into the drinking water.
Facilities such as schools, which typically have intermittent water use patterns, are more likely to have elevated levels of lead due to prolonged water contact with plumbing materials.
Test results must also be provided in writing to all staff and parents no more than 10 business days after receiving the report.
Schools must post the results of all lead testing and any remediation plans on its website as soon as possible but no more than six weeks after the school received the laboratory reports.
It’s a landmark achievement and we’re hopeful that this action in New York will lead to action in other states to protect children,” Senator Tom O’Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said.
“Assemblywoman Lupardo and I have valued the opportunity to work closely with the New York League of Conservation Voters and a broad coalition of public health, environment, and healthy schools advocacy groups to secure the law’s enactment.
Although laws now limit the amount of lead in new plumbing equipment, materials installed before 1986 may contain significant amounts of lead.
“All of the stakeholders came together to ensure that no child will have unsafe levels of lead in their school drinking water and that school districts will not face an undue financial burden.
As a result of this legislation, the test results will be made public and every parent and teacher will know what is in their children’s drinking water.” “With this new law and accompanying regulations, New York is taking a monumental step forward toward protecting our children from lead, which can cause devastating and lifelong consequences to those who have been exposed,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. “We look forward to working with our state’s schools to ensuring that their drinking water is safe from lead.” Previously, schools in New York were not required to test their drinking water for lead, or notify parents or government officials of results.
Schools may also be eligible for a waiver for testing school buildings, if the school can demonstrate that they performed testing and remediation that substantially complies with the regulations, and that lead levels in the building’s potable water are below the action level.
Schools will be required to collect samples every five years, at a minimum, after the initial testing or at a time determined by the Commissioner of Health.