Lead Testing Mandated in Illinois Schools

After a scandal exposed widespread lead contamination in Chicago schools, new legislation requires regular lead testing.

1 minute read

January 13, 2017, 8:00 AM PST

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark


JL Jahn / Shutterstock

After long negotiations about standards and testing practices, Illinois has finally reached a deal and will pass a bill mandating lead testing in Illinois schools and licensed day-care facilities. Among other provisions, the Bill SB550 would require, "…schools built before the year 2000 that serve students fifth grade and younger, would be required to test for lead in all its drinking water sources, as well as sources of water used for cooking at the schools," according to reporting from Natasha Korecki in Politico.

One sticking point was where funds would come from for lead abatement. This bill requires schools to fund their own testing rather than require their water suppliers to pay for it. Jen Walling of the Illinois Environmental Council spoke on the possible costs. "Walling estimated the cost of testing for each school at $500 to $5,000. Much larger costs come in if lead is present and mitigation is required," Koreki writes.

Monday, January 9, 2017 in Politico

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