Mar 25, 2020

Indiana Bill Mandates Lead Testing in Drinking Water for Schools

Indiana bill mandating lead testing in drinking water for schools was signed into law

drinking water

An Indiana bill for schools statewide to test water for lead was signed into law this week.

The bill requires schools to test once by 2023 and then to take action if results show lead at higher than 15 parts per billion (ppb), reported the Chicago Tribune. Lake County schools would have to test every two years beginning in 2023.

The state has received a grant from the Indiana Finance Authority to take care of testing costs, according to a press release announcing the new law.

A similar bill was proposed in the Senate by Sen. Lonnie Randolph, at the start of session, to require lead testing for Lake County schools once every two years. This bill never made it out of the House Environmental Affairs Committee, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Randolph proposed his bill as an amendment to Jackson’s bill and the amendment ultimately passed. Jackson’s proposal included cooper screening as well. An amendment to lower the bar to 5 ppb for lead was introduced but failed.

The House Enrolled Act 1265, which takes effect July 1, ensures that school buildings must have their water fountains and taps tested for lead by Jan. 1, 2023, unless it previously has been tested and found in compliance since 2016.

"Requiring regular lead testing in our school drinking water, where lead has been identified in the past, is an important first step in ensuring the safety of our schoolchildren," said state Sen. Randolph, the sponsor.

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