Significant Lead Legislation Nears the Finish Line

by | Jul 26, 2021 | Blog

Governor Murphy enacted a multitude of laws this summer that address lead in both water and paint: 

    • A1372/S1147—Requires lead paint inspection on certain residential rental property, including upon tenant turnover; establishes lead-based paint hazard education program; appropriates $3,900,000. (signed July 22)
    • A5343/S3398—Requires public community water systems to inventory and replace lead service lines within 10 years; provides for recoupment of costs by investor-owned public water systems. (signed July 22)
    • A5407/S3459—Removes restrictions on special assessments and bond issuances for replacement of residential lead service lines; revises budgetary requirements for operators of certain water systems. (signed July 22)
    • A2863/S968—Requires public water systems to provide notice of elevated lead levels in drinking water to customers and local officials; requires landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels. (signed May 11)
    • A5887/S3960—Awards project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for water infrastructure projects in certain school districts; appropriates $6,608,212. (signed July 1)

The New Jersey Legislature broke for the summer delivering lead-related bills to Governor Murphy, all of which advance the goals of Lead-Free NJ. The passage of these bills represents a significant commitment to ensuring a lead-safe environment for our children.

    • A2134/S830 Requires public water systems to offer drinking water tests to customers in certain circumstances.
    • A2135/A829—Requires property condition disclosure statement to indicate presence of lead plumbing in residential property.

In addition, the final FY22 budget included the following provisions for water infrastructure funding:

    • State Revolving Fund

Continues the $60m appropriation to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds that was newly initiated in FY2021 to support safe and modern water projects statewide, including lead service line replacements.

    • Lead Paint Remediation

Continues the total appropriation of $10m for this purpose in two equal pieces:  $5m for Single Family Home Lead Hazard Remediation Fund and $5m for a Lead Safe Home Renovation Pilot Program. An additional $10m is newly appropriated from federal American Rescue Plan funds for Home Based Paint Remediation.

    • Lead Testing for Schools

Appropriates $5m to reimburse school districts for the cost of testing lead in drinking water during the 2021-2022 school year.

    • Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) –  Project Selection Process

Lead hazard projects are eligible uses of American Rescue Plan funds. Both the governor’s office and the legislature will review project proposals for access to the $6.5b in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds that have been appropriated to the state. Additionally, a total $3.5b has been awarded to municipalities directly, which are considering how they will use these funds. 

While Lead-Free NJ has not taken a position on specific bills or executive actions, the collaborative strongly encourages individual member advocacy. Passage of these important bills is a testament to a strong commitment to advocacy on the part of Lead-Free NJ’s members. For more information about Lead-Free NJ’s policy agenda visit: https://www.leadfreenj.org/our-policy/.