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  • NJ A3680
  • Requires public and nonpublic schools to test drinking water for lead and install lead filters or treatment devices on drinking fountains and food preparation sinks; appropriates funds therefor.
Introduced
(4/14/2016)
In Committee
(4/14/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would require every public and nonpublic school to immediately test the drinking water in the school for the presence of lead. In addition to immediately testing the drinking water upon enactment of this bill into law, the bill would also require every public and nonpublic school to test the drinking water in the school for the presence of lead at least twice annually. The first test would be conducted within 30 days prior to the start of the school year, and the second test six months later. This testing would be conducted in accordance with guidelines provided by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in conjunction with the Department of Education (DOE). The superintendent of each school district or the chief school administrator of each nonpublic school, as the case may be, would be required to: provide a copy of the test results to both the DOE Commissioner and DEP Commissioner; make the test results available to the public, free of charge; and notify parents and guardians of children attending the school of the test results. In the event any test conducted pursuant to the bill detects a level of lead in the drinking water at or above the action level or concentration established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the school would be required to take immediate steps to provide an alternate drinking water supply at that school until such time as the lead level or concentration in the drinking water is tested to be below the action level or concentration and the DEP determines that the drinking water is safe for consumption. In addition, the bill would require the superintendent of each school district or the chief school administrator of each nonpublic school, as the case may be, to identify each school building that contains lead pipes, lead solder, or fixtures containing lead, and provide a list of the identified buildings to the DOE Commissioner. The bill would require a water filter or water treatment device certified to remove lead to be installed on each drinking water fountain and each sink used for food preparation in the identified buildings, and would require that the water filters or water treatment devices be maintained and replaced in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations for the filter or device to ensure that they remain functional. The bill would appropriate $3 million from the General Fund to the DOE to reimburse schools for the costs of the testing required pursuant to section 1 of the bill. The DOE would provide reimbursement for the costs of the testing upon receipt of appropriate documentation that the testing was completed. Lastly, the bill would appropriate up to $20 million from the societal benefits charge (commonly referred to as the "Clean Energy Fund") to the DOE to reimburse schools for costs incurred for the installation of water filters or water treatment devices pursuant to section 2 of the bill. The DOE in consultation with the DEP would develop guidelines to prioritize the disbursement of funds, and the DOE would provide reimbursement upon receipt of appropriate documentation of the installation. Lead in drinking water comes from lead pipes, lead soldering, and leaded brass faucets. Too much lead in the human body can damage the nervous system, brain, and kidneys. Young children are at the greatest risk of the toxic effects of lead.
Environment and Solid Waste
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee  (on 4/14/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
4/14/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified