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Bill Requiring Lead Testing In Schools Headed To Governor's Desk

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A bill that would require schools to test for lead in drinking water is headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk. It passed unanimously in the state Senate on Tuesday. 

The measure would require all schools that haven’t tested for lead at least once since 2016 to do so within the next two years. If the results are higher than the federal action level, schools would have to take action — such as replacing lead water fixtures.

“There’s no state or federal requirement requiring testing for lead in schools for kids, this bill allows it in terms of a statewide basis,” says Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago), who is sponsoring the bill.

Randolph added an amendment that would require Lake County school buildings to be tested every two years — more often than other Indiana schools. He says the heavily industrial area that includes East Chicago has been more heavily polluted with lead.

READ MORE: Schools Would Have To Test For Lead In Drinking Water Under House Measure

Kids who get exposed to lead can have trouble learning, behavioral issues, and poor kidney function.

CLARIFICATION: The previous version of the story said the bill has requirements for schools once lead results reach the “federal limit.” For the purpose of clarity, it has been changed to the federal action level — the point at which the federal government says action needs to be taken.

Contact Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.

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