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Tenants Must Be Informed of Lead in their drinking water

Governor Murphy just signed legislation (S968/A2836) that will require landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels. This is particularly meaning in New Jersey where we have many people impacted by lead in their water and where many people rent the places in which they live. Tenant notification was always a good practice. Now it is the law.

“We must continue to take proactive action to protect our communities from the dangers of lead exposure,” Governor Murphy stated in a press release. “This legislation will ensure that community members are aware of the levels of lead in their drinking water, a critical step toward protecting our children and families from the dangers of lead exposure.”

The law requires that written notice of elevated lead levels in drinking water be provided to all customers no later than 10 days after it is determined that lead levels are above the lead action level. That notice must also include details of the lead action level, provide information on the health effects of lead in drinking water, and provide information about steps a customer can take to reduce risk. And as to landlords: they will be required to deliver this notice to all tenants served by the water system within three days of receiving the notice from the public water system.

This law solves an important problem: one of education. People need to know that the water they are consuming is safe. And our municipalities are working on the other half of the problem, which is actually fixing the lead problem.

For example Newark has an ambitious pipe replacement program and has made a lot of progress in the past three years. Since lead consumption impacts in children are so dangerous and often not easy to address after poisoning has occurred, progress by our cities cannot arrive fast enough.

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