A Senator Linda R. Greenstein bill to provide oversight and rules to the largely-unregulated mold abatement industry – which has seen a huge boon in the past year due to the heavy flooding and destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy – was approved today by the full Senate.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, tens of thousands of homes, businesses and schools were flooded, and when that water receded mold often began to grow,” said Senator Greenstein, D-Middlesex and Mercer. “For the public health and safety of those living within these residential buildings and for children attending classes at these schools, we need to implement standards for how mold is dealt with.”
The bill, S-2081, would establish procedures for the inspection and abatement of mold hazards in residential building and school facilities. It would require the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, to determine mold inspection and mold abatement procedures including cleaning, repairs, maintenance and ongoing monitoring of mold.
Additionally, the bill would require the Department of Community Affairs to establish a certification process for those who inspect schools and residential buildings for mold as well as a certification process for those who perform mold abatement in schools and residential buildings.
“Due to the increased business of mold abatement in post-Sandy New Jersey, many abatement ‘experts’ have come into the state and done shoddy and incomplete work while gauging consumers,” added Senator Greenstein. “By certifying mold abatement workers, we can ensure that building owners and school districts are protected from these unscrupulous business practices.”
Mold can cause illnesses in those who are exposed to it for long periods of time, particularly those suffering from asthma or other lung conditions or mold allergies. Additionally, it can cause major damage to buildings and cost tens of thousands of dollars to remove.
The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 35-1. The Assembly previously approved it 61-16. It now heads back to the Assembly to concur with amendments before heading to the Governor.