PITTSTON, October 30, 2017– The state Senate Environmental Resources & Energy (ERE) Committee held a public hearing today in Pittston on lead exposure and mitigation in Pennsylvania. Testifiers at the hearing offered a regional perspective on lead policy in Northeastern Pennsylvania as well as an overview of services that state agencies provide currently to address lead exposure.
“Lead exposure can lead to long-term health consequences, especially for children and older adults. In Northeastern Pennsylvania, efforts to mitigate lead exposure like the city of Wilkes-Barre doing biannual testing of its public water system and Pittston leading county-wide efforts to address aging infrastructure through a new municipal land bank authority are laudable,” said Senator John Yudichak.
“However, we can do more and we should do more. Today’s committee hearing, along with the work of the Lead Task Force and Advisory Committee will help us establish policies to protect children and vulnerable populations from lead poisoning,” added Senator Yudichak.
Earlier this year, the Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Yudichak (SR 33) which creates a Lead Task Force and Advisory Committee that will work with the Joint State Government Commission to study the extent of lead contamination in Pennsylvania and provide recommendations on changes to laws and policies. The Lead Task Force and Advisory Committee is expected to hold its first organizational meeting in December.
Testifiers at today’s hearing included representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Health, City of Pittston, City of Wilkes-Barre, SGS, Pediatric Associates of Kingston, and Pennsylvania American Water.
The state Senate ERE Committee is chaired by Senators Gene Yaw (R-23) and John Yudichak (D-14).