BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams announced the Buffalo Lead Free Initiative intended to help children get tested for possible lead poisoning.

The announcement comes as the district’s retired chief engineer, James Reid, filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office, alleging the director of plant services ordered “pre-stagnation flushing” of water lines ahead of lead testing, which is against New York state laws.

Williams said the district denies allegations of pre-stagnation flushing. The district’s director of health and safety, Yvette Gordon, said all protocols were followed when any lead was found in water samples.

“It truly is a new day,” Williams said at a press conference with school board members and local community advocates. “We look to partner. We look to work collectively with all community organizations. When we hear concerns, we do not push them under any kind of rug. We look at the concerns and we confront them.”

District leaders said a letter was sent to all parents who should get their child tested for lead poisoning back in 2021. Now the district is partnering with Buffalo Clinical Testing LabCorp to offer free tests to children.