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Scutari Bill Would Boost Asbestos Protection Efforts

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TRENTON – A bill authored by Senate President Nick Scutari that would boost asbestos safeguards was approved by a Senate committee today. The legislation, S-2196, would increase the fines for violating asbestos abatement requirements and use the revenue for asbestos control programs.


“Exposure to asbestos can have serious health consequences, especially when the fibers are inhaled,” said Senator Scutari. “It can cause pulmonary disease and lung cancer. This is public safety legislation that will make the financial penalty stronger for violating safety standards and allocate the additional funds to asbestos enforcement programs.”


The bill would update the 1984 state law that helps protect workers and others with standards to maintain their health and safety. The maximum penalty for violating certain asbestos standards would be increased from $25,000 to $100,000. The additional revenue would be allocated to asbestos control and licensing programs.


The existing programs include enforcement standards for the removal, enclosure, storage and sale of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. The programs also include public awareness efforts.


New Jersey ranks seventh in the country for asbestos-related deaths.


The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.