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Local schools testing for lead

August 14, 2018 News Extra

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Water at Summit Elementary School in the Butler School District was discovered in late 2016 to have lead levels that exceeded national standards.

School districts in Butler County are taking seriously recent state legislation that requires them to test for lead in paint, soil and water.

All of the school districts that responded to questions Monday said they have chosen to test for lead instead of the alternative made available in the legislation, which is to hold a public hearing to explain why the district will not test for the dangerous metal.

The requirement to test for lead or hold a public hearing was included in the school code package passed by the state legislature earlier summer.

The push to include lead testing in the 2018-19 school code was led by state Sen. Arthur Haywood, D-4th, in Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

“Pennsylvania has recorded a grade of F for lead in water,” Haywood said Monday. “That was one clear reason.”

The other, perhaps more cathartic reason, was a 2016 trip Haywood took to Flint, Mich.

“I saw the water bottles lined up on the street,” said Haywood. “That visit made (the dangers of lead in a water system) crystal clear to me.”

Read more about this story in the Butler Eagle.

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