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  • NJ A4095
  • Directs DEP to adopt standards for certain drinking water contaminants based upon recommendations of Drinking Water Quality Institute.*
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to adopt standards for 16 hazardous drinking water contaminants, as recommended by the Drinking Water Quality Institute (DWQI). The bill would also permit the DEP to establish more stringent standards for those contaminants upon recommendation of the DWQI, and in accordance with the provisions of existing law. In 1977, the Legislature passed the "Safe Drinking Water Act," which, among other things, directed the DEP to adopt and enforce State primary drinking water regulations. Amendments to that act in 1983 created the DWQI, a panel of experts tasked with developing standards for hazardous contaminants in drinking water and recommending those standards to the DEP. The 1983 amendments also directed the DEP, after considering the recommendations of the DWQI, to establish standards for 22 listed organic compounds and any other contaminants that are present in New Jersey drinking water and which may be harmful to human health. Despite the State's strides in improving the quality of drinking water, today many contaminants remain unregulated, including several specified in the 1983 amendments. Since at least 2005, the DEP has failed to adopt new or more stringent standards for approximately 16 contaminants, even though the DWQI has made recommendations concerning those contaminants. The DWQI's recommendations include new or more stringent standards for: perchlorate, a hazardous industrial chemical used in the production of explosives; radon-222, a radioactive gas and known human carcinogen; and formaldehyde, an organic compound used in embalming to temporarily preserve human and animal remains. More recently, the DWQI has recommended a standard for perfluorononanoic acid, a hazardous organic chemical recently detected in the drinking water supplies of several townships in southern New Jersey. As the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of the State's drinking water supply, the DEP has a duty to adopt new and more stringent drinking water standards when doing so would protect the health and welfare of New Jersey residents and visitors. The DWQI's recommendations are based on the latest scientific information concerning the health effects of, and testing and treatment methods for, various contaminants. As such, the recommendations of the DWQI should be swiftly considered and adopted by the DEP.
Environment and Solid Waste
Reported as an Assembly Committee Substitute and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee  (on 10/13/2016)

Date Chamber Action Description
10/13/2016 A Reported as an Assembly Committee Substitute and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee
10/13/2016 Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Hearing (14:00 10/13/2016 Committee Room 9, 3rd Floor)
9/15/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 10/13/2016 Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee: Reported with Substitution 5 1 0