An Act To Strengthen Requirements for Water Testing for Schools
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, testing the water in schools that are served by public water utilities is not required; and
Whereas, old plumbing that contains lead soldering is often the cause of high lead levels; and
Whereas, requiring testing of water in school buildings more than 10 years old served by public water systems is immediately necessary to ensure safe drinking water; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §2604, as enacted by PL 1975, c. 751, §4, is amended to read:
§ 2604. Schools, sampling and examination of water; exemption
Any school , which that takes water from a source other than a public water system and uses such water for drinking or culinary purposes , shall submit samples of such water to the department for analysis at least once during each school year. Such samples shall must be analyzed by the department. If the water is found to violate the state primary drinking water regulations, the department shall issue an order prohibiting the use of the water for drinking or culinary purposes by the school, which order shall must remain in force until the water conforms to the state primary drinking water regulations. The department shall provide results of any analysis performed under this section to the Department of Education. The Department of Education shall make the results available to the public upon request.
The requirements of this section apply to a school that takes water from a public water system and uses that water for drinking or culinary purposes if the school building is more than 10 years old.
Violation of this section shall is, on conviction, be punishable by a fine of not more than $500.
Sec. 2. 22 MRSA §8402, sub-§3, ¶B, as amended by PL 2001, c. 645, §10, is further amended to read:
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
Current law requires schools that take drinking water from sources other than public water systems to have that water tested. This bill requires schools that take drinking water from public water systems to have the same tests performed on that water, except that school buildings less than 10 years old are exempt from this requirement. Under the bill, after receiving results of school water tests, the Department of Education must make the results available to the public. The Department of Health and Human Services must make test results from nursery schools available to the public.