Proposed Montana rule will help to keep children safe from lead

Media Contacts
Skye Borden

The Department of Public Health and Human Services is currently considering a rule that would require all public schools to test for lead in drinking water and remediate the worst cases of lead contamination. A public hearing on the rule was held today in Helena.

A potent neurotoxin, lead affects how our children learn, grow and behave. Lead is so toxic that experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend a health standard of 1 part per billion for water in schools.

Environment Montana state director Skye Borden made this statement about the proposed rule:

 “There’s no reason why, in 2019, our kids should have to worry about lead in their drinking water at school.

From the limited testing that has been done, we know that lead is contaminating drinking water in schools across the state. And yet, even today, there is currently no statewide requirement for schools to test their fixtures for lead – or tell anyone if they voluntarily test and get a bad result.  

Because it ensures that the most extreme cases of lead contamination are identified and addressed, this rule is a critical step in ensuring that our kids have a safe and healthy learning environment. I’m encouraged to see the Department of Public Health and Human Services step up to work on the problem.”


Environment Montana is is a statewide advocacy group that works to protect the air, water, and open spaces in America’s last best place. Our Missoula-based staff focuses on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.