HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A report by an environmental and consumer advocacy group is giving Pennsylvania an “F” for its efforts to remove lead from drinking water in schools.
PennEnvironment and PennPIRG released the grade Tuesday, saying Pennsylvania hasn’t been aggressive enough in replacing lead pipes, plumbing or fixtures in schools.
Lead can cause lifelong brain damage and other harm, especially for children, although Pennsylvania health officials say exposure to lead-based paint chips and dust, not tainted water, is the primary cause of childhood lead poisoning.
The state Department of Environmental Protection said in 2016 it had reviewed public water systems serving more than 6 million people and that none exceeded federal standards for lead in drinking water.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s water authority is spending $50 million to lower lead levels in water there.