Gov. Brown Signs Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher Bill Mandating Tests for Lead in Water at California Schools

Friday, October 13, 2017

SACRAMENTO  – (Friday, October 13, 2017) – Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a bill authored by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) requiring that schools test the drinking water for lead and notify parents if elevated traces of lead are detected.

“This is basic common sense,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said.  “The science is clear – not even the tiniest amount of lead is safe to drink. And if your child is drinking lead-contaminated water at school, you as a parent have every right to know about it. This law will help safeguard the health of our children, which is one of our most solemn responsibilities as legislators.”

Assembly Bill 746 will require public schools to test for lead in their water supplies and notify parents if this testing discovers elevated levels of lead. The school will have to take the source of contaminated water out of service immediately.

The problem of lead in school drinking water is hardly theoretical. In recent months, several San Diego-area schools have discovered lead contamination in their water. La Mirada Elementary School in San Ysidro announced that water at the school tested positive for lead contamination. Shortly after, contaminated water was discovered at Emerson-Bandini Elementary (which shares a campus with the charter school San Diego Cooperative 2). Alarmingly, the contamination in drinking water was only discovered incidentally. Contractors working at La Mirada noticed discoloration in the water and suggested school administrators have it tested. The contamination at Emerson-Bandini was only brought to light after a service dog refused to drink water at the school

Even the slightest trace of lead in water is unsafe, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

AB 746 passed the Assembly 78-0 on Sept. 14 after passing the Senate, 40-0, on Sept. 12. Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Blanca Rubio (D-Los Angeles County) are joint authors of the bill.

For more information on this issue or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher, contact Alex Roth at 619-228-3253.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, and Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher visit https://a80.asmdc.org/

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