•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 
  •  LFIN 
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

A00160 Summary:

COSPNSRDinowitz, Magnarelli, Simon, Abinanti, Epstein, De La Rosa, Seawright, Thiele, Williams, Colton, Cymbrowitz, Taylor, Abbate, Barron, Steck, Rosenthal L, Jacobson, Ashby, McDonough, Galef, Griffin, Lupardo, Weprin, Zebrowski, Bronson, Fahy, Burdick, Clark, Paulin, Perry, Hevesi, Rozic, McMahon, Barnwell, McDonald, Quart, Otis, O'Donnell, Reyes, Stern, Gonzalez-Rojas
Amd 1110, Pub Health L
Relates to standards for and testing of potable water in school buildings; eliminates certain exemptions; sets minimum standards and requires training.
Go to top

A00160 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Gottfried
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to school potable water testing   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would expand water testing in schools, including increasing testing frequency, removing testing exemptions, setting action levels, and increasing disclosure of information   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends Public Health Law (PHL) 1.110 to: * Change required school water testing for lead from "periodic" to annu- al; * Require that tap water provided by school districts be free to school occupants; * Remove exemptions for certain schools from testing; * Set the lead action level at 0.005 milligrams per liter; * Require that laboratory reports be made public as part of existing disclosure requirements for testing results; and * Require training of those responsible for the testing. Section 2: Effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that drinking water in schools is safe and free of lead contamination. Children are particularly vulner- able to the harmful effects of lead, so much so that the experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization agree that there is no safe level of lead for children. High lead levels in children can bring lifetime problems including reduced cognitive function, learning disa- bilities, and aggressive behavior. The data from the first round of lead testing in schools under New York's landmark 2016 law demonstrate that our school children are drink- ing water that contains lead. More than 82% of public schools reported at least one drinking water tap that exceeded the action level, current- ly set in regulation at 0.015 milligrams per liter - Washington, DC, Illinois, and Vermont are all lower at 0.004 or 0.005, while the Ameri- can Academy of Pediatrics recommends 0.001. Current law allows exemptions from lead testing for schools deemed "lead free" under feder- al requirements. However, the federal definition of "lead free" allows up to 0.25% of lead in pipe materials to be lead; federal law from 1986 to 2014 allowed up to lead in "lead-free" plumbing; and there were no federal restrictions before 1986. The past deeming of a school as "lead free" is no guarantee of safety and should not allow an exemption from testing. This bill would make several improvements to New York's existing program by reducing the action level; requiring annual (rather than "periodic") testing; removing waivers and exemptions for certain schools; requiring lab reports to be posted online; and requiring training for school personnel or contractors involved in testing. These measures will further protect our children from the devastating effects of lead contamination.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2020: A9545 Reported to W&M / Senate Health   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Additional school funding would be required to support additional test- ing and remediation efforts   EFFECTIVE DATE: One year after it shall have become a law
Go to top