Jackson bill protecting children from lead contamination signed into law

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INDIANAPOLIS – This week, a bill written by State Rep. Carolyn B. Jackson (D-Hammond) which mandates schools statewide to test their water for lead contamination was signed into law by Governor Holcomb.

House Enrolled Act 1265 requires testing for lead in the drinking water of every school in the state before January 2023. According to the bill, school administrators will be responsible for seeking available state and federal grant money to cover these costs. This testing requirement would be satisfied, however, if the facility already has tested for compliance with federal water standards since 2016.

“I’m overwhelmed to see this bill become law,” Jackson said. “I'm happy with the advancements we made on this issue last session, but I will continue to work diligently next year and the year after that until the safety and health of our children is no longer at risk.”

According to the bill, if it is found that there is a presence of lead that is equal to or greater than the federal action level of 15 parts per billion, then the operators of that facility must take steps to correct the matter and reduce that number to safer levels.

Due to the heavy industrial presence in Lake County, an amendment was successfully added requiring all schools in Lake County to be tested at least once every two years for the existence of more than 15 ppb of lead.

House Enrolled Act 1265 will take effect on July 1, 2020.

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