COUNCILMEMBER GYM PLEDGES LEGISLATION TO ENSURE WATER ACCESS AND SAFETY IN DISTRICT SCHOOLS

In Council News, Helen Gym, News by PHL Council

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Bill will set stricter standards and accelerate transition to lead-free water filtration stations

PHILADELPHIA — Today, City Councilmember Helen Gym announced plans for legislation to accelerate the transition to lead-free water filtration stations in District schools in response to recent report on water quality:

“Safe, accessible water is critical to the health of our students. That’s why today I am announcing plans to accelerate the replacement of outdated water fountains with lead-free water filtration stations in our schools.

“In 2016, I passed a package of legislation to establish stronger limits for lead in water in school buildings, and to ensure regular testing with public disclosure of the results. We listened to students who told us that too often, the water in their schools was inaccessible or unappealing, and successfully advocated for the Philadelphia School District to begin installing water filtration stations in schools — a safe alternative to water fountains.

“A new report from Penn Environment and PennPIRG makes clear that we must urgently complete the transition to water filtration stations, and away from water fountains that carry risk of lead exposure. It is clear from Penn Environment’s analysis of the District’s test results that lead contamination remains widespread despite prompt efforts from the District to deal with individual fountains that test at high levels.

“President Biden has proposed $15 billion to replace lead service lines that bring water to homes throughout our country, in recognition of the importance of this issue. We can get to zero lead by completing the transition from outdated fountains to modern filtration stations. I am prepared to introduce legislation to support and accelerate that transition.”

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