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Legislation to rid Maryland schools of lead-contaminated water passed in General Assembly in weakened form

The Baltimore Sun

Legislation aimed at removing lead-contaminated water from hundreds of school fountains passed unanimously on the General Assembly’s final day this week — but in weakened form.

The Lead Reduction and Remediation Act, sponsored by Del. Jared Solomon, a Montgomery County Democrat, toughens standards on how much lead can be in a school’s water to the lowest traceable amount and requires the public reporting of positive test results. It also gives schools access to the $30 million Healthy School Facility Fund for remediation efforts for water outlets used for drinking or food preparation.

But after some school systems complained that wasn’t enough money for repairs, the bill was amended in the Senate to no longer mandate that schools must repair the lead contaminated water outlets — only that they must shut them off, Solomon said.

The bill also was amended to no longer require the replacement of lead-contaminated school water fountains or faucets that are not currently in use, such as those in Baltimore schools that have been turned off for years. The legislation now states it’s the legislature’s
intent that schools “proactively” work to repair the lead-contaminated water fountains.

Read the full article in The Baltimore Sun

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