U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) is calling for the state of New Jersey to enforce laws on the books requiring annual lead water testing in schools and public release of that data.
Gottheimer has written to the State of New Jersey multiple times, in October 2018, February 2019, and again in June 2019, about the presence of lead water in New Jersey schools, and the health and safety impacts of lead exposure to New Jersey children.
The state has still not released the list of schools that have failed to conduct lead testing and certification required by state law. Only when this information is finally released by the State will parents have the facts they deserve about their children’s possible exposure to lead.
In 2017, it was reported that only 95 school districts out of nearly 600 in New Jersey had forwarded information describing positive lead test results to the Department of Education. These reports show that among those 95 districts, over 300 schools had tested positive for lead. In these 95 districts, at least 14,598 water outlets were tested, and of those outlets tested, 8.1 percent exceeded the threshold for lead in drinking water.
“In light of the ongoing issues with Newark’s water, I want to make sure parents all throughout our state are informed about the possibility of lead in the water of their children’s schools. Current New Jersey law requires annual testing in schools and public release of that data. That law, for no reason that I can understand, isn’t being enforced – and that’s just unacceptable,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’m not just frustrated, I’m fed up. I hope the state will take immediate action and put the health and safety of our children and families first.”