(CNSNews.com) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said at the CNN Democratic presidential debate Sunday night in Flint, Mich., that as president, she will make sure that lead is removed from water, soil, and paint throughout the nation within five years.
“I want us to have an absolute commitment to getting rid of lead wherever it is, because it’s not only in water systems. It’s also in soil, and it’s in lead pain that is found mostly in older homes. That’s why 500,000 children today have lead, lead in their bodies,” said Clinton.
Leann Walters, a Flint resident, was one of the first to report problems with the water, CNN host Anderson Cooper noted. One of Walters’ twin boys stopped growing, and her daughter lost her hair, he said.
“After my family, the city of Flint, and the children in D.C. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that as president in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States and notification made to the citizens that have such service lines?” Walters asked.
“I will make a personal promise to you that the EPA and the EPA director that I appoint will make sure that every water system in the United States of America is tested and that the people of those communities know the quality of the water that they’re drinking and that we are gonna have a plan to rebuild water systems in this country that are unsafe for drinking,” said Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Cooper noted that there are 10 million lead service pipes delivering water to people nationwide.
“Well I agree completely,” Clinton said. “I want to go further though. I want us to have an absolute commitment to getting rid of lead wherever it is, because it’s not only in water systems. It’s also in soil, and it’s in lead pain that is found mostly in older homes. That’s why 500,000 children today have lead, lead in their bodies.
“So, I want to do exactly what you said. We will commit to a priority to change the water systems, and we will commit within five years to remove lead from everywhere,” Clinton said.
“We were making progress on this in the 1990s. I worked with then Senator Obama to get more money, more support to do more to remove lead. That has unfortunately been in many ways moved to a lower priority. I will elevate it, and I will do everything I can – water, soil, and paint. We’re gonna get rid of it,” Clinton added.