Schools will test for lead

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2017


A new law, signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe on March 20 requiring school boards to develop and implement a plan to test for lead in water is resulting in school officials in Charlotte County to review their testing schedule.

According to the Virginia Legislative Information System, if necessary, school boards will be responsible to remediate potable water from sources identified by the U.S. Environmental Agency as high priority for testing, giving priority in such testing plan to schools whose school buildings were constructed, in whole or in part, before 1986.

“Charlotte County Public Schools is reviewing our current schedule for the water testing and in the process of updating the schedule if needed in order to meet the new requirements,” said Charlotte County Public Schools Executive Director of Instruction and Finance Sharon Hall.

According to Lunenburg County Public Schools Division Superintendent Charles Berkley, three out of five of the division’s schools water will need to be tested for lead.

The schools include Victoria Elementary, Lunenburg Middle and Central High. Kenbridge Elementary and the alternative education school are not included in the testing.

“We will be proceeding forward on this issue starting after July 1,” Berkley said.

According to Buckingham County Public Schools spokesman I.P. “Chip” Davis Jr., three school facilities will be required to be tested. The facilities include the preschool, the career and technical education center and the school board office.

“We only have two that actually have children in them,” Davis said.

He said the county will test the facilities before school starts again in August.

“We went through this back in the late ‘80s, early ’90s and we took all of the situation then, but I guess it’s come back around again so we’re going to test again,” Davis said.

He said all of the buildings were corrected in the early ’90s.

“We replaced all the water fountains and did everything back at that time,” Davis said.

According to Cumberland County Public Schools Assistant Division Superintendent for Finance and Operations Dr. Chip Jones, county schools are already tested annually by the Cumberland County Public Works Department.

Prince Edward County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson was unavailable for comment.