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Assembly Advances Benson, Riley, Wimberly & Garcia Bill to Establish Mold Exposure Limits in Residential Buildings

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Celeste Riley, Benjie Wimberly and Carmelo Garcia requiring the state to establish standards for exposure limits to mold in residential buildings and certification of mold inspectors and abatement workers was approved on Monday by the full Assembly.

The bill (A-1007) would require the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in consultation with the state Department of Health and Senior Services to establish standards for exposure limits to mold in residential buildings, and procedures for the inspection, identification and evaluation of the interior of residential buildings for mold.

“This legislation creates much-needed rules and regulations that currently don’t exist,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “We must ensure protection of overall public health and safety against mold.”

“Mold can exacerbate health problems including asthma and allergies in children, and currently there are no standards to control its harmful potential,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). “This legislation would begin to correct that.”

Under the bill, the DCA would also be required to: (1) establish standards for mold hazard abatement procedures including specialized cleaning, repairs, maintenance, painting, temporary containment and ongoing monitoring of mold hazards or potential hazards; and (2) establish a certification program for persons who inspect for the presence of mold hazards in residential buildings and who perform mold hazard abatement work in residential buildings.

However, residential property owners who are not certified under the bill may perform mold inspection and mold abatement work on their own property.

“Mold presents a particular problem for sensitive populations like children or people with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems, and right now there is no agency they can call to get help when it comes to mold,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). “This bill gives residents a place to call when there is a problem and they need information.”

“Other states have passed laws establishing guidelines,” said Garcia (D-Hudson). “Now it’s time for New Jersey to follow suit and protect its residents against the health risks that can be caused by mold.”

Additionally, the bill would require any person performing work in school facilities to be certified under the mold hazard inspection and abatement certification program established under the bill.

On the first day of the sixth month following the adoption of these rules and regulations, any person who inspects for the presence of mold hazards in residential buildings and performs mold hazard abatement work in residential buildings would be required to be certified by the DCA.

The DCA must adopt the standards within a year after the bill is enacted into law.

The Assembly approved the measure 60-14-2.