AUSTIN – This afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted to authorize funding to address drinking water contaminated with lead in Flint and other communities across the country. The safe drinking water funding provisions were included in S. 2848, a bill to reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger issued this statement:
"This afternoon, the Senate took a first critical step toward protecting our families’ health from the threat of lead-contaminated drinking water, in Flint and elsewhere.
In Flint alone, contaminated drinking water left more than 8,000 children with elevated levels of lead in their blood. But the issue is not limited to Flint. Communities right here in Texas are facing threats to their drinking water.
Lead is highly toxic, and especially damaging to kids – impairing how they learn, grow, and behave. That is why it is so important that we “get the lead out” of our drinking water and our water infrastructure. Provisions in the Senate WRDA bill authorize a crucial down payment on the investment in safe drinking water infrastructure needed to protect our families from lead and other contaminants.
Last week, a group of bipartisan state legislators, business leaders and conservation and civic organizations wrote the Texas congressional delegation today urging them to invest in water infrastructure and address the growing problems with lead contaminated water.
The WRDA bill also includes a voluntary program for lead testing of drinking water in schools and day care facilities, most of which are currently exempt from federal water testing requirements.
Next Tuesday, September 20th, Environment America and American Academy of Pediatrics are teaming up to present a free webinar for parents and other members of the public to learn about lead in schools’ drinking water and what can be done to address this threat to children’s health."