Bill Summary for H 386 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Mar 19 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 386 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 19, 2019
AN ACT TO REQUIRE CERTAIN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE FACILITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA TO TEST DRINKING WATER FOR THE PRESENCE OF LEAD.
Intro. by Warren, Grange, Ross, B. Turner.

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Bill summary

Includes whereas clauses.

Part I.

Enacts Article 10A to GS Chapter 130A, Protect North Carolina's Children from Lead Exposure Act.

Sets out 11 defined terms.

Requires each school authority and child care facility to test drinking water for the presence of lead at drinking water outlets in each school or child care facility, with each test analyzed by a lab certified to analyze for lead in drinking water samples by the NC State Laboratory for Public Health. Exempts schools or child care facilities that are suppliers of water already subject to monitoring for lead under Article 10, and schools or child care facilities constructed or substantially renovated, meaning the complete removal and replacement of the plumbing system, after December 31, 1990. Provides testing deadlines, setting the testing deadline at June 30, 2021, for schools and child care facilities constructed on or before December 31, 1960, and at June 30, 2022, for schools and child care facilities constructed between January 1, 1961, and December 31, 1990.

Requires school authorities and child care facilities to use the US Environmental Protection Agency's 3Ts technical guidance to establish sampling collection criteria and protocols.

Sets criteria for selecting sample locations and outlets, requiring sampling from five separate drinking water outlets, as specified, and provides alternative requirements in the event five separate drinking water outlets are not available for sampling. For any school or child care facility that reveals a drinking water outlet with elevated lead levels, requires the school authority or child care facility to conduct subsequent flush sampling in accordance with the 3Ts guidance.

Sets notification requirements for schools and child care facilities to teachers, school or facility personnel, and the parents or guardians of students upon receipt of the test results. Provides for the timeliness, form and content of notifications based on whether the lead concentration is at, below, or above the lead trigger level, as specified.

Provides for mandatory corrective action by a school or child care facility whose sample reveals an elevated lead level, including: (1) immediately restricting access to any drinking water outlet with elevated lead concentrations and any similar drinking water outlets located on the same wing or floor; (2) immediately taking remedial action to ensure all students and children have access to free, fresh, and clean drinking water and are not exposed to drinking water with elevated lead levels, with alternate drinking water supplied until further analysis finds lead levels at or below the trigger level and the Division of Public Health of the Department of Health and Human Services (Division, DHHS) determines and provides written documentation to the specified entities that the elevated lead levels have been mitigated and the drinking water is safe for human consumption; and (3) with the assistance of the specified entities, determine the source of the lead and identify necessary corrective action to address the contamination, including specific measures that will be taken and an estimate of their costs.

Establishes record keeping requirements for each school authority and child care facility regarding the testing, as specified.

Authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to enforce the Article's requirements through the powers and remedies provided in Article 10 (NC Drinking Water Act). Authorizes DHHS to enforce the Article's requirements applicable to certified labs, schools, and child care facilities under the powers and remedies provided in Part 2, Article 1 (Remedies under the General Public Health provisions).

Authorizes the Commission for Public Health to adopt rules for the Article's implementation.

Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules for the testing, notification, and corrective action related to lead in school water supplies as provided in Article 10A.

Directs DEQ and the Division to develop and provide specific EPA documents and general guidance on the 3Ts technical guidance and best management practices regarding lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities, water line flushing, and any other appropriate information, to DPI and the Division of Child Development and Early Education by July 1, 2020.

Amends GS 130A-24(e), providing that the appeals procedures for the general public health provisions set out under the statute apply to appeals concerning the enforcement of rules, the imposition of administrative penalties, or any other action taken by DEQ pursuant to new Article 10A.

Part II.

Enacts new GS 115C-532.1 to require local boards of education to provide for the sampling of the widest variety of drinking water outlets and locations in a proposed existing site or existing property to be used as a schoolhouse or other school facility. Provides requirements for sample locations, including requiring sampling from five separate drinking water outlets. Directs the local board of education to sample, analyze, and report the results in accordance with new GS Chapter 130A, Article 10A.

Amends GS 115C-218.1 to require charter school applications to include documentation of drinking water sampling and analysis as under GS 115C-218.35(e) and new GS Chapter 130A, Article 10A.

Amends GS 115C-218.35 to require charter schools that change location to sample the widest variety of drinking water outlets and locations in the proposed location or space. Provides requirements for sample locations, including requiring sampling from five separate drinking water outlets.

Amends GS 115C-218.5 to prohibit the State Board of Education from granting final approval of a charter school application if it finds that the drinking water in the location or space intended for the school reveals lead in concentrations above the lead trigger level. Provides for the applicant to implement necessary corrective action to remove the source of lead.

Amends GS 115C-218.6 to prohibit the State Board of Education from renewing a charter for a school that elects to move to a new location or space without conducting the required sampling, analysis, and reporting.

Part III.

Enacts new GS 130A-332.11 establishing the Child Lead Exposure Prevention Fund (Fund) under DHHS control and direction. The Fund consists of monies appropriated by the General Assembly or made available to the Fund from any other source. Allows the Fund to be used to pay for the State’s share of: (1) the costs of testing required by new Article 10A, (2) the temporary or permanent provision of alternative drinking water supplies to schools and child care facilities detecting elevated lead levels, or (3) monitoring filtration systems used in connection with the provided temporary or permanent alternative drinking water supplies. Requires any project funded by revenue from the Fund to be cost-shared with non-State dollars as follows: (1) at least one non-State dollar for every two dollars from the Fund for schools or child care facilities located in a development tier one area and (2) at least one non-State dollar for every dollar from the Fund for schools or child care facilities not located in a development tier one area. Requires DHHS to report annually by October 1 on funded projects to the specified NCGA Division and Committee.  

Appropriates $8 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Fund. 

Effective July 1, 2019.

Part IV.

Unless otherwise provided, effective when the act becomes law. 

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