Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
News & Press: Recent News

State at Beginning of Long Struggle to Purify Drinking Water in NJ Schools

Monday, April 4, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share | 4/4/2016

With more Newark schools found last week to have elevated lead levels in their water, a top state environmental official said the process of identifying and remediating the problem is not just in Newark but statewide is sure to be a lengthy one. Daniel Kennedy, the assistant commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the vast majority of the New Jersey’s nearly 3,000 public schools now do not fall under the state’s testing requirements. Only about 250 schools with their own water supplies—typically through wells—are regulated by the state. Newark Public Schools district is among the unregulated, and Kennedy said it has been taken an extensive effort by the district working with the DEP to start sampling and identifying the problems. And as more sampling is completed and more results come out, including eight more Newark buildings identified last week, Kennedy said it could be months to get a complete picture. Kennedy also stressed that while lead in the water is clearly a public health issue, it is not the predominant cause of lead poisoning and should not be portrayed as such. The comments come as public attention continues to rise on the issues of lead in schools’ water. The Assembly environment committee is scheduled to meet today (April 4) to begin considering a bill that would require testing for lead in school drinking water in every school in the state. The co-chairs of the Joint Committee for the Public Schools on Friday also called on state Education Commissioner David Hespe to unilaterally order testing in the schools. 

Sign In