The lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan struck fear into the hearts of the nation. Allegedly, Flint's residents were unaware for a period of over 18 months that they were exposed to lead in their water pipes. According to medical experts, prolonged lead exposure leading to lead poisoning holds a wide range of risk factors in children related to developmental and cognitive delays.
It's not surprising that this high level of national concern has become an important Texas legislative issues, as lawmakers want to ensure the safety of children in this state. According to the Texas Tribune, Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) recently introduced House Bill 2395 to the House Public Education Committee to help children maintain access to a clean, safe water supply in schools.
If it passes in its current form, House Bill 2395 will require public schools to test their water supply annually to ensure it is lead safe. Other versions of the bill would only require public schools built before 1986 to test, which is when it became illegal nationally to make pipes with lead at a higher content than 8%. However, most public schools in Texas were built before 1986 and use older water pipes with a higher lead concentration.
According to the Texas League of Conservation Voters, many public schools use aging water fountains and pipes, putting school children at especially high risk for lead water exposure. Recently, some public schools chose to test their water supply and discovered high levels of lead. Supporters of the bill point out that mandatory testing will cause schools throughout the state to repair and replace dangerous pipes.
Opponents to the bill worry that schools won't be able to afford the annual testing, and some conservation advocates feel the bill doesn't go far enough in its requirements. The bill currently remains pending in the House Committee.
Safety from lead water poisoning is just one important Texas legislative issue around water needs. The Posey Law Firm in Austin follows developments that might impact the state water supply, as well as political and legal challenges. Stay in touch with us for developments on this story and others.
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