NJPP Applauds Signing of Landmark Bills to Prevent Lead Poisoning

New Jersey is now the first state in the country with a hard target to eliminate lead service lines in ten years.

Published on Jul 22, 2021 in Health

Earlier today, Governor Murphy signed landmark legislation that will help put an end to lead poisoning in New Jersey. The three new laws mark a shift away from piecemeal approaches towards more comprehensive solutions to lead poisoning. Rather than wait for lead hazards to emerge, these bills shift to a preventive approach: identifying, disclosing and eliminating lead in homes and water pipes. In response to the signing of these bills, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) releases the following statement.

Peter Chen, Senior Policy Analyst, NJPP:

“These new laws represent a sea change in how a state can combat lead poisoning. New Jersey is now the first state in the country with a hard target to eliminate lead service lines in ten years, as well as a funding mechanism to finance that investment.

“New Jersey needs robust infrastructure to protect its residents, especially children, and provide safe and healthy homes to future generations. The new laws recognize that lead is a problem across housing infrastructure, including both water infrastructure and paint.

“We are one step closer to ending lead’s toxic legacy in our state thanks to this legislation. NJPP sincerely thanks Governor Murphy and the bill sponsors for their tireless efforts to ensure that these bills became law: Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Senator Troy Singleton, Senator Teresa Ruiz, and Assemblyman Jamel Holley. NJPP also thanks the committed advocates who supported these efforts, including Isles, Inc., the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, and the member organizations of the Lead in Drinking Water Task Force convened by Jersey Water Works.”

The three bills are:

A5343: Requires public community water systems to inventory and replace lead service lines within 10 years, including informing residents if their service line contains lead; provides for recoupment of costs by investor-owned public water systems and allows the costs to be shared among all customers.

A5407: Removes restrictions on special assessments and bond issuances for replacement of residential lead service lines, including replacement of the resident’s section of the service line.

S1147: Requires lead paint inspection on certain residential rental property within two years, as well as upon tenant turnover; establishes lead-based paint hazard education program; appropriates $3,900,000. Each property lead inspection result will then be added to a statewide database to continuously track lead hazards in homes statewide.

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