Pop quiz question number 1: what is tasteless, odorless, colorless, and poisons drinking water in over 150,000 homes in Maine?
Answer: Arsenic – a chemical linked to cancers of the bladder, skin, and lung, and linked to lowered IQ in children.
Pop quiz question number 2: Of the 50% of Maine people who rely on private wells for their drinking water, what percentage have tested their water for arsenic?
Answer: Only 45%! That means thousands of kids could be drinking water with arsenic, and their families don’t know about it!
Prevent Harm’s top priority bill before the Maine legislature this year is all about preventing Maine families from drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic. LD 1162, An Act to Ensure Safe Drinking Water for All Maine Families, would provide outreach and education to Maine families so that everyone knows to get their water tested for arsenic and other toxic chemicals.
But on Friday, Governor LePage vetoed LD 1162, stating in a message that since the testing rate for arsenic is already up to 45%, Maine is already adequately addressing this problem.
Let’s reiterate that: less than half of Mainers with private wells are testing their drinking water for arsenic, and the Governor says that we’re doing good enough!
It’s time to shift into override gear! LD 1162 has received strong bipartisan votes in the House (108 – 40) and Senate (22 – 13). In order to pass our bill into law, we need two thirds of all legislators to vote to override the Governor’s veto. That means we must hold onto all of the votes we already got in the House, and we need at least two Republican Senators who previously voted NO to safe drinking water to stand up and vote YES this time.
Want to help? You can contact your legislator by clicking here. Also, see below for the list of lawmakers who are most pivotal to pass this bill. If you have a friend or family member in one of those places, you could contact them and ask them to call their legislator.