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Assembly Passes Benson, Lopez Bill to Require Reimbursement to Residents for Water Testing & Water Filters

(TRENTON) – Helping customers who have to pay out-of-pocket for additional water testing and filters, legislation sponsored by Assembly members Daniel Benson and Yvonne Lopez requiring reimbursement of these costs to customers recently cleared the full Assembly, 76-0.

The bill (A-2420) requires the owner or operator of a public water system to reimburse a residential customer at the request of the municipality in which the customer resides, for the cost of testing at the residence by a laboratory certified by the Department of Environmental Protection. The customer also would be reimbursed for the cost of a filter certified for lead removal, including installation costs, for the home should the replacement of a lead service line result in the exceedance at the residence of a maximum contaminant level, or action level, as appropriate, of a federal or State drinking water standard.

“Families should never have to be concerned about water contamination or water quality,” said Benson (D- Mercer and Middlesex). “Testing is sometimes necessary at a residence to ensure the quality of the drinking water is safe. It is up to the municipality and the public water systems to protect water quality in every home. Residents should not have to pay the cost of these tests or extra filters when their water provider fails them.”

“When residents receive an advisory warning of unsafe water from their provider, it makes sense for families to take the necessary steps to ensure safe drinking water for their families,” said Lopez (D-Middlesex). “Filters or testing can costs anywhere from $15 to $100 or even more. For many families, it can make a significant impact on a household budget.”

The bill will now go to the Senate for further review.