Sen. Blake, Congressman Cartwright and DEP Sec. Quigley Address Issue of Lead Exposure in PA

IMG_7218SCRANTON, March 29, 2016 – State Sen. John Blake today joined Congressman Matt Cartwright, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley and Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George at a news conference to discuss ways the federal, state and local government can work together to raise awareness and increase testing of lead exposure across Pennsylvania.

“I am very proud of Congressman Matt Cartwright and I applaud him for elevating the profile of this very important national conversation regarding lead exposure. I was glad to join the Congressman as well as DEP Secretary John Quigley in today’s press conference,” Blake said. “This is a very serious issue but we need to ensure that the facts about lead exposure and its dangers are accurate and properly presented to the public. We also need to be sure the people of PA know how and where they can get more information to protect themselves and their children.”

Blake noted that Senate Democrats recently introduced a package of legislation that would increase awareness and understanding of the lead issue in Pennsylvania and also strengthen lead testing measures for our schools and daycare centers.

IMG_7210The bills in the legislative package include:

  • Senate Bill 1173, which would create a task force to study the scope of the lead issue, including an accounting of the age of the state’s housing stock, pipelines, school buildings and day care centers. The Task Force would study the age of our housing stock, lead pipes, school buildings and day care centers.  In addition, the task force would study best practices and make recommendations to remediate the lead issues throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Senate Bill 1174, which would require every school building to be tested (water, paint, soil) for lead before a school year begins. Test results would be sent to parents of every enrolled child and posted on school district websites. If a school tests at lead levels higher than the Centers for Disease Control’s acceptable amount, it would be required to submit a remediation plan to the state Department of Education.
  • Senate Bill 1175, which seeks to require lead testing (water, paint, soil) in day care centers licensed by the PA Department of Human Services. DHS would be prohibited from issuing a license to a day care operator if lead levels are higher than CDC recommended readings.
  • Senate Bill 1176, which would require any agreement of sale for real property in the commonwealth to include an option to have the water tested for lead. This would be similar to the current inspection contingency in a standard agreement of sale.
  • Senate Bill 1177, which would create a “SuperFund for Lead Abatement.” The SuperFund may be utilized by entities, such as schools and day cares, to defray costs associated with remediating lead. Some of those remediation projects may include: replacing lead or copper lead-soldered pipes, removing lead paint, or removing soil with elevated lead levels.

For video of Senator Blake’s remarks, click here.