August 06, 2021

Van Hollen, Markey, Levin, Bowman Introduce Legislation to Remediate Toxic Substances in Schools

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), alongside Representatives Andy Levin (Mich.-09) and Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.-16), in introducing legislation to remove toxic substances from school buildings across the country. Toxic substances are particularly prevalent in high-poverty schools, and include lead, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), among other contaminants.
The Get Toxic Substances Out of Schools Act of 2021 would authorize grants under Section 28 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for monitoring and remediation of hazardous substances, as well as re-authorize and expand Title V of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to provide technical assistance to schools in addressing environmental health issues. The legislation would authorize $52 billion dollars over ten years, a groundbreaking investment to ensure that all children have safe and healthy learning environments. Importantly, this bill also includes high-road labor standards for projects funded by the grant program to protect and create good-paying jobs.
In addition to Senator Van Hollen, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).
This legislation is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, BlueGreen Alliance, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Environmental Working Group, the Healthy Schools Network, and UndauntedK12.
A copy of the bill text can be found HERE, and a one-page summary of the bill can be found HERE.