From: The Honorable Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Sent By: erika.brown@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 4879
Date: 4/1/2016

Support the a Transparent Environment in School Testing for Lead by cosponsoring the
TEST for Lead Act
(H.R. 4879)
Dear Colleague,
Please join me in supporting the Transparent Environment in School Testing for Lead Act or TEST for Lead Act. The TEST for Lead Act addresses a major water testing gap and adds a much needed update to the Safe Drinking Water Act. While some school districts voluntarily test their drinking water for lead contamination, there is, surprisingly, no Federal requirement that schools test for lead regularly or to test for lead at all.
The TEST for Lead Act addresses this water testing gap by requiring any state that receives funding from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), which provides federal funding for safe water programs, to assist public and charter schools in establishing programs to test for lead in drinking water. It also requires schools to promptly disclose the results if elevated lead levels are found.
Lead in drinking water is never acceptable, especially when it involves children, who are most susceptible to the dangers of lead poisoning. This bill encourages transparent monitoring of school drinking water, so that we can do our job of keeping children safe.
In March, thirty Newark, New Jersey Public Schools were forced to shut down their drinking water after elevated lead levels were discovered. While some school districts, including Newark, test their drinking water, they are not required to do so by law.
The TEST for Lead Act or Transparent Environment in School Testing for Lead Act:
  • Requires participating schools to test drinking water, including water from faucets used for food preparation, sinks in bathrooms, and water fountains, at least biannually at schools built prior to 1996 and at least annually at schools built in 1996 or after;
  • Requires local education agencies with jurisdiction over the participating schools to notify parents, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the State within 48 hours if a level of lead that exceeds a lead action level, as identified by the EPA, is discovered; and
  • Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to condition a State’s receipt of funding from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) on the State carrying out a program to test for lead in drinking water for schools.
If you have any questions or to cosponsor, please contact
Erika Brown at Erika.Brown@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-3436.