Jul 22, 2020

EPA Grant Helps Missouri Schools Test for Lead

An EPA grant will help Missouri schools test for lead contamination in water

lead contamination

Legislation aimed at providing protections for safe drinking water in Missouri schools has been signed into law by Governor Mike Parson.

One of the key provisions in House Bill 2120 is from veteran State Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, former Senate Minority Leader. This provision allows Missouri schools to submit a test of potable water for lead content to labs approved by state health officials, reported KMALand. 

Missouri schools and the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) will be able to use a U.S. EPA grant of $719,000, which specifically will assist with lead water testing in schools built before 1996.

“Getting clean water in today’s times, what we’ve seen over time, really starting to focus on that,” said Parson to Capitol reporters in Jefferson City. “Water is just so essential to us. One is lifestyle, but everything we utilize has water involved in it.”

According to Senator Walsh, notes of a review found numerous schools with elevated lead levels in water, reported KMALand.

Under the bill, each school district can test a sample of a source of water in buildings constructed before 1996. If the samples tested exceed the EPA standard, the school districts would be required to notify parents of enrolled students. If the samples tested are less than or equal to the standard, the district may notify parents individually or on the school's website, according to the EPA. The Missouri Senate approved the bill by a 25-4 vote, and the House passed it 108-34.

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