New York State School Boards Association

Advocacy Alert: Lead Testing Bill Signed

September 12, 2016

Governor Signs Lead Testing Bill

On September 6th, Governor Cuomo signed Chapter 296 (S.8158, O'Mara / A.10740, Lupardo) requiring public school districts and boards of cooperative educational services to conduct testing of school potable water sources for lead contamination.

The New York State Department of Health filed emergency regulations on the same day providing the specific guidelines for implementation.

Some key provisions are:

  • Samples must be taken from a cold water potable outlet where the water has been motionless in the pipes for a minimum of 8 hours but not more than 18 hours (no flushing)
  • Student occupied school buildings serving grades PreK through 5 must collect samples by 9/30/2016
  • Student occupied school buildings serving grades 6 through 12 must collect samples by 10/31/2016
  • Testing conducted that was consistent with the regulations that occurred after 1/1/2015 will satisfy the first-draw sample requirement
  • If the lead level exceeds the action level (15ppb), the school shall prohibit use of that potable outlet until a remediation plan is implemented and provide an alternative drinking water source until test results indicate that the lead levels are at or below the action level
  • Schools with lead concentrations below the action level (15ppb) will be required to test every 5 years after the initial testing, unless the Commissioner of Health decides it needs to be done more often
  • All samples must be analyzed by a lab approved by DOH’s Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP)

The emergency regulations filed by the Department of Health can be found here:

NYSSBA is reviewing the emergency regulations and will provide comments to  the Department of Heath before these rules are finalized. If your district has specific questions or concerns please contact Julie Marlette, Director of Governmental Relations at


NYSSBA Submits Additional ESSA Comments

On Friday September 9th, NYSSBA submitted formal comments to the U.S. Education Department on the second round of proposed regulations, dealing with assessments.


AQE "Walk to Albany"

From October 2nd to October 11th, the Alliance for Quality Education will be walking from New York City to Albany to commerate the tenth anniversary of the historic CFE decision. If you are interested in more information or participating, please contact Marina at or (518) 432-5315 x 101.

NYSSBA’s Governmental Relations team will continue to update you on these and other issues.

For more information, visit our Key Issues Page, and be sure to follow NYSSBA on Facebook and Twitter.

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