January 10, 2019 (MONTPELIER, VT) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to Governor Phil Scott’s announcement to fund testing for lead in drinking water at all schools throughout the state within one year.
“Governor Scott has clearly recognized the urgent need to protect Vermont’s children from lead poisoning from drinking water,” said Jen Duggan, Vice President and Director of CLF Vermont. “Our children, teachers, and school workers are at risk of being exposed to lead as we speak, and we cannot wait any longer to fix this problem. Mandatory testing and remediation of all lead above the health standard is the only way to protect our school communities, and we will continue to work with the administration and lawmakers to make sure that happens.”
There is widespread consensus among public health experts that there is no safe level of lead. Vermont Department of Health has set a health standard of 1 part per billion for lead in drinking water. Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause permanent damage, and children are especially at risk. Governor Scott is proposing to fund lead testing at all schools within the next year.
In September, CLF and partners began urging school boards and state officials to protect children from lead in school drinking water. You can read more about CLFs’ efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning here.
CLF experts are available for further comment.