Bill Text: NJ S695 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Requires DEP, DOH, DCA, owners or operators of public water systems, and owners or operators of certain buildings to take certain actions to prevent and control cases of Legionnaires' disease.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-01-27 - Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee [S695 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-S695-Amended.html

[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 695

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

Senator  JOSEPH P. CRYAN

District 20 (Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator T.Kean

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires DEP, DOH, DCA, owners or operators of public water systems, and owners or operators of certain buildings to take certain actions to prevent and control cases of Legionnaires' disease.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on January 27, 2020, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning Legionnaires' disease and supplementing P.L.1977, c.224 (C.58:12A-1 et seq.) and Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    a.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, or rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, to the contrary, the owner or operator of a public water system shall:

     (1)   maintain a detectable disinfectant residual of free chlorine, combined chlorine, or chlorine dioxide of at least 0.5 milligrams per liter in all active parts of the public water system at all times; and

     (2)   conduct disinfectant residual testing at frequent and regular intervals to determine the amount and type of detectable disinfectant residual existing at different points in the public water system.

     b.    The Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Department of Health, may adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), if determined to be appropriate, to require additional disinfectant requirements or testing requirements of public water systems in order to minimize the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria, and requirements for the monitoring of public water systems during construction activities that may impact the public water system.

 

     2.    a.  The owner or operator of a public water system shall provide a timely written notice, in a form and manner as determined by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to subsection b. of this section, to all residential, commercial, and institutional customers and residents served by the public water system and located in an affected area of disruptions in the water distribution system that could result in increased levels of Legionella bacteria being present in the public water system. 

     The notice shall include, but need not be limited to:

     (1)   notification that planned construction, maintenance, repair, or replacement of a part of the system may affect Legionella bacteria in the water distribution system and temporarily increase the level of Legionella bacteria in the public water system;

     (2)   the estimated length of time that the level of Legionella bacteria may remain elevated, as determined by the department;

     (3)   general information on the possible sources of Legionella bacteria in the public water system, and the health effects of Legionnaires' disease and related illnesses to at-risk populations; and

     (4)   measures consumers can take to reduce or eliminate exposure to Legionella bacteria, including, but not limited to, flushing water lines during and after completion of construction work, removing and cleaning faucet aerator screens and showerheads, and installing a water filter or water treatment device certified to remove Legionella bacteria.

     b.    No later than 120 days after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Community Affairs, shall publish a public notice in the New Jersey Register and on its Internet website specifying the form and manner of the notice required pursuant to subsection a. of this section and the specific information to be included in the notice.

     c.     If a public water system serves a municipality in which the primary language of 10 percent or more of the residents is a language other than English, the water purveyor shall provide the notice required pursuant to subsection a. of this section in both English and the other language to the residents.

     d.    The owner or operator of a public water system shall not be required to provide the notice required pursuant to subsection a. of this section until the department has published the public notice required pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

 

     3.    a.  For every reported diagnosis of Legionnaires' disease, the Department of Health shall immediately provide notification to the Department of Environmental Protection of the diagnosis.  This notification shall include addresses where the individual diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease resided, frequently visited, or was employed in the month immediately prior to the individual's diagnosis.

     b.    Upon receipt of notification from the Department of Health pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the Department of Environmental Protection shall sample and test the public water system for the presence of Legionella bacteria1[,]1 at all locations identified by the Department of Health. Each test shall be conducted by a laboratory certified for this purpose by the Department of Environmental Protection, and in accordance with the sampling and testing methods established and provided by the department.

     c.     The Department of Environmental Protection shall conduct, or require the owner or operator of the applicable public water system to conduct, further testing to confirm the presence of Legionella bacteria in any source in which the bacteria is detected through initial testing pursuant to this subsection, as1[it] the department1 determines to be necessary.

     1d.   When testing for the Legionella bacteria is required pursuant to this section, the Department of Environmental Protection shall ensure that the testing shall be conducted by qualified testing professionals certified in accordance with ASSE Series 12000-2018, Professional Qualifications Standard for Infection Control Risk Assessment for All Building Systems or any subsequent standards established by ASSE International.1

 

     4.    a.  No later than one year after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the owner or operator of a building that meets any of the criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) through (5) of this subsection shall implement a water management program to minimize the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria in the building's water system, consistent with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 188-2018 or comparable standards adopted by a nationally-recognized, accepted, and appropriate organization:

     (1)   a health care facility licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) where patient stays exceed 24 hours;

     (2)   a building containing one or more areas for the purpose of housing or treating occupants receiving treatment for burns, chemotherapy, solid organ transplantation, or bone marrow transplantation;

     (3)   a building containing one or more areas for the purpose of housing or treating occupants that are immunocompromised, at-risk, on medications that weaken the immune system, or have renal disease, diabetes, or chronic lung disease;

     (4)   a building containing a whirlpool; spa; pool; open- or closed-circuit cooling tower or evaporative cleanser that provides cooling or refrigeration for a heating, venting, air conditioning, or refrigeration system; ornamental fountain; mister; atomizer; air wash; humidifier; or other non-potable water system or device that releases water aerosols in the building or on the property upon which the building is located; and

     (5)   a building that is more than 10 stories high, including any level that is below grade, with a centralized potable water-heater system.

     b.    The owner or operator of a facility or building required to implement a water management program pursuant to this section shall make the water management program available upon request to an employee of the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health, or any other department or agency with license or inspection authority for the facility or building.

     c.     (1)  An owner or operator of a facility or building who fails to implement a water management program or fails to demonstrate compliance with a water management program required pursuant to this section shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $2,000 for a first violation, and not more than $5,000 for a second or subsequent violation, except that the owner or operator shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $10,000 for any violation which causes serious injury or death to any person, to be collected by the State in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  The Superior Court and the municipal court shall have jurisdiction over proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this section. 

     (2)   The Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the Department of Health may institute a civil action for injunctive relief in the Superior Court to enforce the provisions of this section and to prohibit and prevent a violation of this section, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.

 

     5.    No later than 180 days after the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Department of Health, Department of Environmental Protection, and a public stakeholder group that shall be comprised of no more than five public members, including one representative of a public health organization dedicated to eradicating Legionnaires' disease and one representative of an organization representing water purveyors, shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), as necessary to implement the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). 

     The rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall include requirements for the monitoring and testing for Legionella bacteria in the water system of facilities and buildings identified in subsection a. of section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and may 1[require] include requirements for1 increased monitoring and testing of the water system in those facilities and buildings during construction activities or other events that may impact the water supply distribution system and could result in the loss of water pressure or foster the release of Legionella bacteria into the water system of the facility or building.

 

     6.    No later than one year after the effective date of P.L.    c.  (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and annually thereafter, the 1[Commissioner] Department1 of Community Affairs, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health, shall submit a report to the Governor, and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature, which shall include:

     a.     the number of cases of 1[Legionnaire's] Legionnaires'1 disease in the State reported in each of the previous 10 years;

     b.    the number of reported test results received by the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the Department of Health which indicate the presence of Legionella bacteria at levels that present a serious health threat;

     c.     the number and type of violations of P.L.    , c.    (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) for which penalties were assessed; and

     d.    recommendations for legislative action as may be necessary to further control Legionella bacteria in the public water supply and affected buildings.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect immediately.

feedback