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Water Quality Legislation Passes Senate

Trenton – Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senate Urban and Community Affairs Chair Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Linda Greenstein, which would address concerns about water infrastructure and water quality in New Jersey, passed the Senate today.

“New Jersey’s water infrastructure is getting older by the day, and we need to take immediate action to stem the negative effects it can have on New Jerseyans,” said Senator Singleton. “The initiatives we passed today are all individually important, and together will be the start of rebuilding New Jersey’s water infrastructure.”

“Our water infrastructure is outdated, unhealthy and entirely unacceptable,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “As we begin to replace water infrastructure throughout the State, we need to make sure it is replaced with safe material that will last well into the next century.”

The first bill, S-922, sponsored by Senators Singleton and Greenstein, would require the Local Finance Board to make certain findings before approving the dissolution of a municipal water authority. Under the bill, the Local Finance Board must find whether the municipality has implemented an asset management plan for its water system. They must also make sure the municipality has developed a plan to annually dedicate funds to address and remediate the highest priority projects. Lastly, they must ensure that all fund balances held by the authority would only be used for the municipality’s water system and not for general municipal purposes. The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-0.

The second bill, S-968, sponsored by Senator Singleton, would require public water systems to notify customers and local officials of elevated lead levels in drinking water and would also require landlords to notify their tenants of elevated lead levels. The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 39-0.