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Schumer proposes funding for schools to test water for lead

Mar 10, 2016 6:30 am

Keshia Clukey is reporting at Politico New York U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer Wed., Mar. 9, proposed a $100 million federal grant program to help test for lead in school drinking water. The proposal comes amid the crisis in Flint, Michigan and reports of elevated lead levels found in the drinking water at 10 schools in Ithaca. School districts currently are not required to test their water supply. Schumer said given that toxic, lead-based pipes were not banned until 1986, schools should be testing. His proposal would help schools that are already testing continue to do so, and provide an incentive for those that are not. Water testing costs on average $35 per sample, but if contamination is discovered, districts could require further samples be taken, he said. If passed, the funding would be available as soon as Jan. 1, 2017, for all schools. Schumer expects to soon have a Republican co-sponsor. When asked if the testing should extend to other chemicals or contaminants, such as were found in Hoosick Falls, Schumer said they should start with lead. Read the full story at Capitol Confidential.