ASSEMBLY, No. 5652

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 24, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  LISA SWAIN

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  P. CHRISTOPHER TULLY

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires certain residential property owners, schools, and child care centers to test drinking water for lead every three years.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning lead in the drinking water of rental properties, schools, and child care centers, and supplementing various parts of the statutory law.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  An owner of a residential building that was constructed prior to 1987, and that contains three or more dwelling units, shall undertake periodic testing of the building's drinking water for the presence of lead.  Each test for lead shall be conducted by a laboratory that has been certified for that purpose by the Department of Environmental Protection.  The initial test for lead shall be conducted no later than one year after the effective date of P.L.   , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and subsequent testing shall be conducted every three years thereafter.

     b.    Each test for lead shall include at least one sample from a drinking water outlet in each dwelling unit occupied by a tenant, except that, in the case of a building containing more than 10 occupied dwelling units, 10 occupied units shall be selected at random for testing.

     c.     The owner shall provide a copy of the results of the most recent test carried out pursuant to this section to each tenant or prospective tenant of the building tested.

     d.    If a test carried out on a property pursuant to this section reveals an elevated lead level, the owner shall provide a written notice by mail of the test results to the chief executive of the municipality in which the property is located and all local health agencies in the municipality in which the property is located.

     e.     An owner of a residential building that was constructed prior to 1987, and that contains three or more dwelling units, shall notify a prospective tenant prior to the execution of a lease agreement, in writing, of any known lead drinking water infrastructure serving the unit to be rented, including, but not limited to, service lines, pipes, fittings, solder, and fixtures made of or containing lead.

     f.     A property that is subject to the testing requirements of P.L.2001, c.40 (C.58:12A-26 et seq.) shall be exempt from the testing requirements of this section and the notification requirements of subsections c. and d. of this section.

     g.    As used in this section:

     "Elevated lead level" means a lead concentration in drinking water that exceeds the action level therefor established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Environmental Protection, whichever is more stringent.

     "Local health agency" means the same as that term is defined in section 3 of P.L.1975, c.329 (C.26:3A2-3).

     2.    a.  A school district, charter school, or nonpublic school shall undertake periodic testing of each drinking water outlet at each school for the presence of lead.  Each test for lead shall be conducted by a laboratory that has been certified for that purpose by the Department of Environmental Protection, and in accordance with the sampling and testing methods specified in the technical guidance.  The initial test for lead shall be conducted no later than one year after the effective date of this act, and subsequent testing shall be conducted every three years thereafter.

     b.    A school district, charter school, or nonpublic school shall post the most recent results of a test carried out pursuant to this section on each school's Internet website.

     c.     If a test carried out on a school pursuant to this section reveals an elevated lead level, the school shall provide a written notice by mail of the test results to:

     (1)   the parents or guardians of each student currently enrolled in the school;

     (2)   the parents or guardians of each student enrolled for the following academic year;

     (3)   each employee of the school;

     (4)   the school board of the school, if applicable;

     (5)   the chief executive of the municipality in which the school is located;

     (6)   all local health agencies in the municipality in which the school is located;

     (7)   the Commissioner of Health; and

     (8)   the Commissioner of Education.

     d.    As used in this section:

     "Elevated lead level" means a lead concentration in drinking water that exceeds the action level therefor established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Environmental Protection, whichever is more stringent.

     "Local health agency" means the same as that term is defined in section 3 of P.L.1975, c.329 (C.26:3A2-3).

     "Technical guidance" means the technical guidance for reducing lead in drinking water at schools issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

 

     3.    a.  A child care center shall undertake periodic testing of each drinking water outlet at the child care center for the presence of lead.  Each test for lead shall be conducted by a laboratory that has been certified for that purpose by the Department of Environmental Protection, and in accordance with the sampling and testing methods specified in the technical guidance.  The initial test for lead shall be conducted no later than one year after the effective date of this act, and subsequent testing shall be conducted every three years thereafter.

     b.    A child care center shall post the most recent results of a test carried out pursuant to this section on the child care center's Internet website.

     c.     If a test carried out on a child care center pursuant to this section reveals an elevated lead level, the child care center shall provide a written notice by mail of the test results to:

     (1)   the parents or guardians of each child currently attending the child care center;

     (2)   the parents or guardians of each child who is registered to attend the child care center within the next year;

     (3)   each employee of the child care center;

     (4)   the chief executive of the municipality in which the child care center is located;

     (5)   all local health agencies in the municipality in which the child care center is located;

     (6)   the Commissioner of Health; and

     (7)   the Commissioner of Education.

     d.    As used in this section:

     "Child care center" means a child care center licensed pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1983, c.492 (C.30:5B-1 et seq.). 

     "Elevated lead level" means a lead concentration in drinking water that exceeds the action level therefor established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Environmental Protection, whichever is more stringent.

     "Local health agency" means the same as that term is defined in section 3 of P.L.1975, c.329 (C.26:3A2-3).

     "Technical guidance" means the technical guidance for reducing lead in drinking water at child care centers issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would require owners of residential buildings that were built before 1987, and that contain three or more dwelling units, to test the building's drinking water for lead within a year, and every three years thereafter.  The owner would be required to have at least one drinking water outlet from each occupied unit tested, except that, in the case of a building containing more than 10 occupied units, the owner would be required to select 10 random units for testing.  The owner would be required to provide a copy of the most recent test results for a dwelling unit to each tenant and prospective tenant of the building.  If a test reveals an elevated lead level, the owner would be required to notify the municipality and local health officials.  In addition, the bill would require the owner to disclose any known lead plumbing infrastructure in a dwelling unit to each prospective tenant of the unit prior to the execution of a lease.

     The bill would require school districts, charter schools, and nonpublic schools to test each school's drinking water for lead within a year, and every three years thereafter.  The testing protocols would be required to conform to technical guidance issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The schools would be required to post the most recent test results on their websites.  If a test reveals an elevated lead level, the school would be required to notify parents, teachers, staff, and local and State officials.

     The bill would require child care centers licensed pursuant to P.L.1983, c.492 (C.30:5B-1 et seq.) to test the child care center's drinking water for lead within a year, and every three years thereafter.  The testing protocols would be required to conform to technical guidance issued by the EPA.  The child care centers would be required to post the most recent test results on their websites.  If a test reveals an elevated lead level, the child care center would be required to notify parents, staff, and local and State officials.