NJ unveils 3-pronged approach to combat lead in school drinking water

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New Jersey officials have unveiled new ways to combat lead-contaminated drinking water in the state’s schools.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer discussed the changes Monday at a news conference in Bergenfield, the congressman's district.

The governor says that lead in water is a statewide problem and introduced a three-pronged approach to help combat the issue.

“We will 1. Strengthen the state Department of Education’s safe drinking water regulations. 2. Make all school districts’ lead testing information available in a single, easily navigated website. And 3. Use the funding available through the voter-approved ‘Securing Our Children's Future Bond Act’ to prioritize and undertake remediation projects for districts facing high lead levels,” Murphy said.

FULL COVERAGE: Lead-contaminated water crisis

Murphy also says schools will have to test the water every three years, not every six. Other changes include public reporting of schools that are out of compliance as well as certain penalties.

A recent report by Gottheimer found about 20% of the school districts in his northern New Jersey district don't report results online. It also found 46 of the districts had at least one facility with a lead problem.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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