(TRENTON) –To inform the people of New Jersey about the status of their drinking water, Assembly Democrats Bill Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester), Lisa Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic), and Christopher Tully (D-Bergen, Passaic) sponsor legislation passed by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee that would supplement the “Safe Water Drinking Act”. The Act would require public water systems to provide to their customers, local health agencies, and municipal governments with expedited written notice of lead levels that exceed the “lead action level”.
The bill (A-2863) would not only require public water systems to provide a written notice, but it would also require landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels in drinking water. The notice must be sent no later than 10 calendar days after the public water system confirms that the lead in drinking water has exceeded its limits. It must clearly state that the lead levels have exceeded the required minimum level, explain what the lead activation level is as well as explain the process used to monitor the drinking water for lead and provide information on the possible source of the lead along with the health effects, and state the responsibility landlords have to distribute the notice to tenants.
Upon committee approval of the legislation Moen, Swain, and Tully issued the following joint statement:
“Currently, landlords are not required to inform tenants about lead in their drinking water leaving many people unaware about the unsafe conditions. We must ensure tenants will not continue to use water that can bring serious health risks.
“Lead is not something that is natural for the human body and high amounts of it can be life threatening. Customers must immediately be notified when there are issues with their drinking water, allowing them to take the appropriate precautions.
“Monitoring our drinking water is crucial, but the people of New Jersey need to also be informed when there are abnormalities. This bill will not only maintain the monitoring that is necessary, but will also keep the public informed and safe.”