Earlier today, Duckworth proposed a comprehensive legislative approachto help prevent similar lead poisoning and other public health crises across the nation
Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 17, 2016. After introducing a comprehensive legislative proposal to protect our nation’s children from lead in their water, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) berated Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as well as the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency for their failures that led to and worsened the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Congresswoman also focused attention on the proactive steps that can be taken to improve oversight and safeguard Americans from being poised by their drinking water elsewhere in the country, including cities like Chicago.
“The Flint water crisis caused human suffering that should not happen anywhere, let alone the greatest nation on the face of the earth—and the failures at every level of government which deepened this disaster are alarming,” said Duckworth.“I’m deeply troubled by the revelations uncovered as we’ve dug deeper into the failures that allowed Flint to happen, and am truly concerned that communities all around the country face similar risks. Reports suggest that nearly 80% of homes in Chicago are connected to lead service lines, and in other cities and states we simply don’t know how many children we’re putting at risk. As a new mother, I won’t sit on the sidelines while our children are poisoned—we have to improve oversight and ensure that our water is safe to drink.”
This morning, Congresswoman Duckworth and Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05) proposed a two-pronged nationwide approach to preventing lead and other poisonous contamination in public water supplies moving forward while simultaneously helping get contaminants out of water supplies where they already exist. Their proposal follows a Chicago Tribunereport on possible lead contamination in drinking water caused by aging water infrastructure in Chicago. The report cited a 2013 EPA study which uncovered the presence of elevated levels of lead in the drinking water of half the Chicago homes it tested. The study showed that the EPA’s lead and copper rule misses the high lead levels and potential human exposure. The Duckworth-Quigley proposal includes:
- The Copper and Lead Evaluation, Assessment and Reporting (CLEAR) Act of 2016, which would help protect Americans from being poisoned by their drinking water by codifying recent National Drinking Water Advisory Council recommendations in federal law and directing the EPA to improve reporting, testing and monitoring of lead and copper levels throughout the nation’s water infrastructure.
- The GET THE LEAD OUT Act, which would provide grants to reduce lead in community drinking water delivery systems and public drinking water supplies.
More information about the Duckworth-Quigley drinking water improvement proposal is available here. Last month, Congresswoman Duckworth and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) also requested an EPA review of the effectiveness of the agency’s current lead and copper regulations last month.