Sen. Brown to intro new lead notification bill on Thursday

Ohio’s senior senator is drafting the legislation that would notify communities immediately when lead is detected, require clean up and action plans

Because of the water crisis in Flint, Mich., as well as in Sebring in Mahoning County, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, plans to do something about it from a legislation standpoint.

A bill is set to be introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday to “help protect Ohio families from toxic lead exposure.”

“No parent should have to worry that the water coming out of their faucets might be poising their children,” said Brown.

Brown said the legislation will “ensure” communities in Ohio and across the country can address threats from lead “in an efficient, transparent, and accountable way.”

But Brown said the legislation is “just one piece of the puzzle.”

The bill will address four areas:

  • Ensure families are alerted immediately when there is a problem by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to automatically alert the public if the state or local agency responsible fails to do so within 15 days.
  • Require communities to have a plan in place to fix the problem within six months. The current requirement is up to 18 months;
  • Require a plan to be in place so communities have access to clean, safe water until the issue is fixed; and
  • Require the EPA to make annual state water quality reports available, and easily accessible, online.

“We are in this fight for the long haul and we will keep fighting to protect Ohio families from lead — whether it’s in drinking water or the paint in our houses,” he said.

The senior senator from Ohio said he'll be reaching out to other legislators, including Ohio's junior senator, Sen. Rob Portman, to sign on to the bill as a sponsor. Brown addressed the issue Monday evening while on the Senate floor.