With a reminder that pure water is a constitutional right, state Rep. Karen Boback (Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) today introduced House Bill 930, legislation that would require public and non-public schools to test all outlets used for cooking and drinking annually for the presence of lead, and to ensure that said water is safe to consume.
“Clean water is not only deemed a right by the Pennsylvania Constitution, it is an expectation and an assumption,” Boback said. “When we open a faucet and fill a glass, or when a child drinks from a school drinking fountain, he or she does so almost mindlessly, because we expect what comes out to be clean. It almost always is, but almost always isn’t good enough.”
Pennsylvania received another failing grade from PennEnvironment, a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that today issued “Get the Lead Out,” its nationwide report on individual states’ efforts to provide clean drinking water to students and staffs.
“We don’t appear to even be attempting to fix this problem,” added Boback. “Five years ago, a survey of federal data found Pennsylvania had the highest number of schools with elevated levels of lead in their drinking water. This legislation, which never even drew a committee vote when I introduced it last session, is long overdue for passage.”
The legislation has bipartisan support, with nearly 40 members from both sides of the aisle already signed on as co-sponsors.
Questions about this or any state government issue should be directed to Boback’s Dallas district office at 570-675-6000 or her Tunkhannock office at 570-836-4777.