Lead testing bill signed by governor
Bipartisan legislation has been signed into law which is designed to protect Illinois children from possible exposure to lead in drinking water.
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Jan. 16 in Chicago signed the measure, Senate Bill 550.
“Today is about our future, about making sure our students are not exposed to lead poisoning,” Rauner said in a news release.
“This shows what is possible when we work together. It is a step in protecting our children from the devastating effects of lead exposure.”
SB 550 is designed to ensure that proper health protections are in place to protect Illinois’ youngest residents.
The bill provides the requirement for schools and daycares to sample for lead contamination from sources of potable water in school buildings.
The oldest school buildings, those constructed before Jan. 1, 1987, must complete water testing by the end of 2017.
Schools constructed between Jan. 2, 1987, and Jan. 1, 2000, must complete testing by the end of 2018.
Daycares constructed on or before Jan. 1, 2000, which serve children under the age of 6 will also be required to conduct testing.
Parents and guardians of students must be notified of elevated lead results.
“This legislation, along with the enhancements Illinois EPA has proactively implemented with community water supplies over the last year, is an important step towards eliminating the risk of lead exposure to our most vulnerable citizens, Illinois’ children,” said Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, acting director Alec Messina.
“The public can be assured this is a top priority of the agency and we will continue to implement program improvements and coordinate efforts with our fellow state agencies.”
“Elevated levels of lead in children can cause developmental and behavioral disabilities,” Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Nirav D. Shah said.
“We have made great progress in reducing the number of children with elevated levels and we will continue to work to protect one of our most vulnerable populations.”