COLUMBUS—This week, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Senate Bill 269, a bill that would further clarify the responsibilities of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The Sebring water crisis exposed a lack of departmental oversight in regards to threats to our public water systems,” said Senator Schiavoni. “It is important that we address the failures of both Ohio EPA and the village of Sebring to alert the community after tests revealed elevated levels of lead in local drinking water.”

Last week, Governor Kasich announced plans for a Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) bill to address lead contamination and drinking water concerns throughout the state. Many of the provisions outlined in Governor Kasich’s proposal are identical to what is contained in Senate Bill 269, such as the shortening of the public notification timeline and triggers for additional testing.

“I am glad to see the administration is committed to addressing the critical issue of lead contamination in Ohio’s drinking water,” said Senator Schiavoni. “I hope to incorporate some more ideas from Senate Bill 269 – such as stricter guidelines for when the Ohio EPA should intervene after local water systems fail to notify the public – into the MBR bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to tackle this critical issue."

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