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Pintor Marin, Speight & Schaer Bill to Replace Lead Service Pipe Lines in NJ Homes Becomes Law

Measure to Allow Municipalities to Adopt Ordinance to Perform Repairs

A major cause of lead exposure comes from drinking water that has travelled through lead pipes. In an effort to reduce exposure, the Governor signed a bill into law on Thursday that would allow municipalities to enter properties for the replacement of lead service pipes.

Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin, Shanique Speight and Gary Schaer are sponsors of the legislation (A-5854), now law.

“This law will help municipalities address the problem with greater urgency, both in Newark and statewide,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “It’s an extremely time-sensitive issue and by authorizing municipalities to enter properties to replace lead service lines, we will ensure the job gets done properly and expeditiously.”

Under the law, a municipality is authorized to enter a person’s property to perform lead service line replacements after providing notice to the owner and any residents at least 72 hours in advance of scheduled work.

“Newark has already passed its own ordinance to allow entry onto private property so that the city can begin lead service line replacements,” said Speight (D-Essex). “Implementing what is happening locally on a statewide level will maximize the efficiency of our water infrastructure replacement projects and safeguard public health for communities throughout New Jersey.”

In municipalities where 10 percent or more of the residents speak a primary language other than English, a letter or written notice to inform of scheduled work will be provided in those languages.

“Access to clean drinking water is an irrevocable human right, as legislators we must ensure that right for every resident,” said Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic). “All lead exposure carries significant health risks, but children are particularly vulnerable to suffering permanent damage. This law empowers municipalities to conduct lead service line replacements, protecting residents from further lifelong effects.”

Municipalities are also required to send the property owner a letter by certified mail after completing a service line replacement to give a brief summary of when and what work was performed.

The law goes into effect immediately.