Norton Travels to Flint with Leader Pelosi as Part of Congressional Delegation to Look for Similarities to D.C. Water Crisis


Introduces Bill to Prohibit Use of Lead in Aircraft Fuel

WASHINGTON, DC – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today will travel to Flint, Michigan as part of a congressional delegation with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). Norton is particularly interested and concerned about the Flint water crisis because of the District of Columbia’s own lead-in-water crisis in the early 2000s.

The congressional delegation will tour Flint tomorrow, Friday, March 4, 2016. The delegation will hold a “Speak Out” to hear directly from families affected by the water crisis. The members will also receive a briefing from Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about the ongoing federal response in Flint. The city tour, “Speak Out” with Flint families, and federal response briefing are closed to the press. Following the “Speak Out” event, Norton and other Members will hold a press conference at Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church in Flint.

“In light of D.C.’s water crisis with lead, I am going to Flint not only in solidarity with affected families, but also to learn more and to share what I can about our own recovery,” Norton said.

Last week at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing last week, Norton questioned Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick, Chief of Engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, about the lead levels in D.C.’s water supply. Bostick assured Norton that the Army Corps tests for lead levels in water leaving D.C.’s two main aqueducts once per month, and adds orthophosphate, an approved anti-corrosive substance, to water flowing to D.C. to prevent lead leaching.

In order to further address lead concerns across the nation, Norton yesterday introduced a bill to prohibit the use of lead in aircraft fuel by 2021. Since 1980, the amount of lead in the air has decreased 89 percent, but while lead gas for automobiles has been banned since 1995, the piston-engine aircraft industry and airports that supply their fuel continue to use leaded aircraft fuel. Norton said that without a federal ban, those operators will continue to use leaded aircraft fuel, endangering the health of young children.

“We have seen the devastating impact that lead poisoning can have on children, including behavioral and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and anemia,” Norton said. “Banning leaded airplane fuel is a common-sense measure, and phasing it in by 2021 gives the industry plenty of time to implement an alternative.”

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