Dean introduces legislation to ensure clean drinking water

State Rep. Madeleine Dean will soon introduce two bills to help ensure that Pennsylvania residents’ drinking water is safe at home and in schools.

“Pennsylvania’s constitution guarantees us the right to pure water, and it is clear that we need to do more to ensure that our community’s drinking water is clean,” said Dean, D-Montgomery. “The legislation I am proposing would help guarantee that community members know the water they’re drinking at home and at school is safe.”

Dean has proposed the two bills amid concerns over the level of per- and polyflouroalkyl substances in the region’s drinking water. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified a lower recommended level of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water – 15 ppt, rather than the 70 ppt health advisory level now in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dean’s first bill would create a program to reimburse Pennsylvanians for the costs of water testing and the installation of in-home water filtration systems.

The second bill would require school districts to perform annual testing for PFOS and PFOA (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid) in all school buildings before the start of the year. If levels test above 5 ppt, the school district would be required to inform parents and guardians, provide an alternative source of water and submit a remediation plan to the state.

“Our goal should be to have no traceable amounts of these contaminants in our water supply. I’ll continue to advocate for ways we can protect the health and safety of our community,” Dean said.

Dean also has co-sponsored legislation that would lower the acceptable level of PFOS and PFOAs in drinking water from 70 ppt, the current health advisory level in Pennsylvania, to 5 ppt.