• Wix Facebook page
  • Wix Twitter page
  • Wix Google+ page

Council Passes Bill to Lower Lead Levels in MCPS Drinking Water

May 10, 2019

The Montgomery County Council today unanimously passed legislation introduced by Councilmember Tom Hucker that will reduce levels of toxic lead in Montgomery County Public Schools’ drinking water.

   Currently, Montgomery County schools follow the state lead standard of 20 parts per billion (ppb). Bill 2-19 - Health - Lead in Drinking Water - Schools — lowers that action threshold to 5 ppb.

   “Scientists agree: There is no safe level of lead, a neurotoxin that permanently damages our children’s developing brains and bodies,” Councilmember Hucker said. “Now that we have recent testing results from the Montgomery County Public Schools, we must take action. We owe it to our children to do all we can to protect their health.”

   Lead accumulates in children’s teeth and bones. It can cause behavioral and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia. In fact, it’s been estimated that keeping lead out of children’s bodies and brains would save more than 20 million total IQ points among U.S. children, plus billions of dollars in annual costs associated with lead exposure.

   In 2017, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 270, which required all schools to test their drinking water for lead by July 1, 2018. The Montgomery County Public Schools recently met that requirement and found 238 fixtures that exceeded the 20 ppb standard and many more that showed levels of lead between 5 ppb and 20 ppb. The state mandates that school drinking outlets with lead levels of 20 ppb or more must be closed or fixed.

     According the Montgomery County Public Schools website as of March 1, 2019, the district had tested 13,570 outlets countywide with 249 of 1.8 percent of outlets returning elevated (higher than 20 bbp) results. MCPS said that of that number only 159 were accessible to students. Among UpCounty schools with the highest test results were Germantown Elementary School, Fox Chapel Elementary, and Clopper Mill Elementary School in Germantown; Woodfield Elementary School and Damascus High School in Damascus, and Poolesville Elementary School and Poolesville High School, along with Darnestown Elementary School.

   The only UpCounty school not tested was Monocacy Elementary School in Dickerson which is classified as a public water system because the water is supplied by a well located on the property. Bottled water is provided for drinking and cooking at Monocacy elementary school.

   In the last year or so, MCPS has remediated almost all the outlets that exceed that limit.

   But that’s not good enough, Hucker said, pointing out that the EPA — along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics — all agree there is no safe level of lead exposure.

   Two neighboring jurisdictions already have action levels lower than even the EPA standard of 15 ppb. Prince George’s County has an action level of 10 parts per billion, while Washington, D.C., has cut its threshold from 5 ppb to 1 ppb.

   “I thank my colleagues for their enthusiastic support for this legislation. Keeping our kids healthy must be one of our schools’ top priorities, especially when it involves their brains and ability to learn,” Hucker said. “Anything less is simply unacceptable.”

 

File Photos by Germantown Pulse

Please reload

Please reload

Featured Posts

Thank You, Germantown, for Five Amazing Years

Morning Storm Floods Many Germantown Roads, Create...

Spirit Comeback Falls Short in 2-1 Loss to North C...

Germantown Glory Fireworks Set to Celebrate the 4t...

Spirit Hope to Remain Unbeaten as They Host Defend...

Germantown Woman Set to Compete for Hot Dog Eating...

Three Teen Girls Sent to Hospital After an Assault

Montgomery County DLC is Changing Its Name to Alco...

Council Reappoints Anderson as Chair of Planning B...

County Forces Planet Fitness to Stop Giving Free P...

Germantown Man Found Guilty of Manslaughter and Ar...

Germantown Market Cited for Selling Egg-Bearing Fe...

Montgomery College Selects Builder for $40 Million...

Council Passes Bill to Allow Tenants to Terminate...

County Leaders to Host Conversation on Racial Equi...

Sullivan Strikes as Spirit Draw on the Road at Rei...

1/1
Please reload

Germantown Pulse has stopped production
of original content for this website,
as of Aug. 1, 2019.
Germantown Pulse continues to provide news and information from other local source through links on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Thank you to our loyal readers and advertisers for a wonderful and fulfilling five years.

Germantown Pulse

Thank You, Germantown, for Five Amazing Years

July 19, 2019

Morning Storm Floods Many Germantown Roads, Create...

July 8, 2019

Spirit Comeback Falls Short in 2-1 Loss to North C...

July 1, 2019

Germantown Glory Fireworks Set to Celebrate the 4t...

July 1, 2019

Spirit Hope to Remain Unbeaten as They Host Defend...

June 28, 2019

1/3
Please reload