(TRENTON) – To ensure that children in New Jersey schools are drinking clean, lead-free water, Assembly Democrats Sterley Stanley (D-Middlesex), Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex), and Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex) sponsor legislation to establish an online reporting system for schools and children care centers to report lead testing results electronically.
The bill (A-1977) would require the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to establish an online reporting system for schools and children care centers to report lead testing results, and within 90 days after establishing the online database, they must submit or resubmit lead testing results for public access.
Currently, school districts are required to perform lead tests every three years from regulations established by Governor Murphy. This measure would expand the reports to not only include school districts, but to also include lead reporting from individual schools and child care centers.
Upon the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee approval of the measure, Assembly members Stanley, Pintor Marin, and DeAngelo issued the following joint statement:
“Lead contamination in drinking water has been a serious issue and unfortunately, children are affected the most. There are severe consequences from lead exposure in children such as damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech issues.
“This measure is necessary to ensure that our children are drinking clean water while in school or child care centers by requiring testing results from schools periodically. An easily searchable public database of testing will provide parents with the transparency that they deserve and will allow families to take the necessary precautions to keep their children protected from lead in drinking water.”
The measure heads to the Speaker for further consideration.