Following the implementation of new state legislation requiring all schools in New York State to test potable water for lead contamination and post the results and remediation plans on its website, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-East Shore) and Assemblyman Ron Castorina (R,C,I,Ref-South Shore) are urging parents to become informed of lead testing results at their child’s school. Test results are available on the New York City Department of Education’s web site at http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/watersafety.htm, where data as of December 19th is available.
The new state law passed at the end of session and signed by Governor Cuomo on September 6th requires all school buildings serving children in pre-kindergarten through grade five were required to collect a sample from each identified sampling location for testing by September 30, 2016. Any schools serving children in grades six through twelve that are not also serving children in younger grades were required to complete collection of samples by October 31, 2016.
“We want parents to have peace of mind knowing that when their children go to school each day, they are in the safest and healthiest environment possible. With reports of poor drinking water and lead contamination in other parts of our state and nation, this new law is critical to ensure the water that our school children, faculty and staff are consuming meets high standards. We urge parents to stay informed and aware of the testing results at their child’s school by checking the easy-to-use online database,” said Assemblywoman Malliotakis.
“This legislation is an example of government working for the people. We must do everything we can as parents, elected officials and older members of society, to keep our children safe and healthy. At the end of the day they are the future of our nation. This is a quick and easy way for parents to see if their children are drinking water safe for consumption at school. We want the parents of New York not only to know about this resource but to use it as well. Please check out the website and see whether or not your child’s school meets the standards,” said Assemblyman Castorina.
Under the regulations, schools are required to report all lead test results to the state Department of Health via a designated statewide electronic reporting system. If lead levels are detected above 15 parts per billion at any potable water outlet, the school must discontinue use of that outlet, implement a lead remediation plan to mitigate the lead level, and provide building occupants with an adequate alternate supply of water for cooking and drinking.
In addition to posting the results of all lead testing and any remediation plans on its website for the public, schools must report the problem to the local health department within one business day. 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 as soon as possible but no more than six weeks after the school received the laboratory reports. Once test results indicate that lead levels are below the action level, schools may resume use of the water outlet.