[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 4759

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 11, 2022

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† LISA SWAIN

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman† SHAMA A. HAIDER

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman† P. CHRISTOPHER TULLY

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Conaway, Sampson and Stanley

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires public water systems and landlords to provide certain notice of elevated perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances levels in drinking water; requires DEP to establish educational program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As reported by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on March 23, 2023, with amendments.

††


An Act concerning certain notifications for elevated perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances levels in drinking water and supplementing P.L.1977, c.224 (C.58:12A-1 et seq.).

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† As used in P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

†††† 1"Exceedance of a PFAS maximum contaminant level" means, for a public water system, that the system has measured, in conformance with the provisions of the "Safe Drinking Water Act," P.L.1977, c.224 (C.58:12A-1 et seq.), and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and the federal "Safe Drinking Water Act," 42 U.S.C. s.300 et al., and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, a concentration of a PFAS at a sampling point such that the running annual average of the PFAS concentration at that sampling point is in excess of the applicable PFAS maximum contaminant level.1

†††† "Landlord" means the same as that term is defined in section 2 of P.L.1975, c.310 (C.46:8-44).

†††† "Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances" or "PFAS" means any member of the class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

†††† "PFAS maximum contaminant level" means the applicable maximum contaminant level for PFAS, or a category or type of PFAS, in drinking water established by the department pursuant to the "Safe Drinking Water Act," P.L.1977, c.224 (C.58:12A-1 et seq.).

 

†††† 2.††† a.† A public water system that exceeds a PFAS maximum contaminant level shall provide a written notice 1[, in a letter addressed to "resident" or "property owner/tenant," by regular mail,]1 to 1[both the service address and the mailing address of]1 all customers served by the public water system, including all 1residences,1 schools, daycare centers, and facilities serving young children, all public and private hospitals, medical clinics, and doctorís offices serving pregnant women and young children, all local health and welfare agencies in the public water system's service area, and the chief executive of each municipality in the public water system's service area.

†††† The written notice shall be sent as soon as practicable, but no later than 1[10] 301 calendar days after the public water system confirms that there has been an exceedance of 1[the] a1 PFAS maximum contaminant level and the 1department approves the1 written notice 1[has been approved by the department]1 .† The written notice shall:

†††† (1)†† clearly state that the public water system is in exceedance of 1[the] a1 PFAS maximum contaminant level;

†††† (2)†† explain what the PFAS maximum contaminant level is and the measurement process that the public water system is required to perform to monitor drinking water for PFAS;

†††† (3)†† 1[provide additional information on the possible sources of PFAS in drinking water, the health effects of drinking water with elevated levels of PFAS, and measures a consumer can take to reduce or eliminate PFAS in drinking water] state that drinking water containing elevated levels of a PFAS can cause negative health effects1 ;

†††† (4)†† provide information to direct the consumer to the educational program developed by the department pursuant to section 4 of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), including a link to the departmentís Internet website where the educational resources are located; and

†††† (5)†† state, in easily legible type, the responsibility of a landlord to distribute the written notice to every tenant pursuant to section 3 of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† b.††† The notice required pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any notice requirements under federal or State law.

†††† c.† A public water system shall provide 1[monthly] annual1 written notifications to all customers served by the public water system where an exceedance of a PFAS maximum contaminant level has been found.† The 1[monthly] annual1 written notifications shall continue until there is no longer an exceedance of the PFAS maximum contaminant level.† The 1[monthly] annual1 written notifications shall include, at a minimum:

†††† (1) an update on the current status of the 1[remediation] mitigation1 process along with an estimate of the time until the 1[remediation] mitigation1 process will be completed; and

†††† (2) any information on what work, if any, has been done to 1[remediate] mitigate the contamination1 or treat the contaminated drinking water supply.

†††† 1d.† Whenever a public water system that is subject to the provisions of this section is found to no longer have an exceedance of a PFAS maximum contaminant level, the public water system shall provide a written notice to all customers of this fact.

†††† e.† A public water system shall provide any written notice or notification required pursuant to this section by regular mail, in a letter addressed to "resident" or "property owner/tenant," as applicable, to both the service address and the mailing address of the customer, or via electronic mail to the customer's preferred email address, or both.

†††† f.† A violation of the provisions of this section shall be considered a violation of the "Safe Drinking Water Act," P.L.1977, c.224 (C:58:12A-1 et seq.) and the commissioner shall have recourse to any of the actions provided for in section 10 of P.L.1977, c.224 (C.58:12A-10), in order to remedy the violation.1

 

†††† 3.† a.† 1[When] Whenever1 a landlord receives any notice or health and safety information from a public water system concerning the presence of PFAS in drinking water, including, but not limited to, the written notice submitted pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and any follow-up 1[monthly] annual1 written notifications 1required1 pursuant to subsection c. of section 2 of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the landlord shall:

†††† (1)† distribute, by any means including by electronic mail, the notice or information, as soon as practicable, but no later than three business days after receipt, to every tenant who has entered into a lease agreement with the landlord and whose dwelling unit is served by the public water system; and

†††† (2)† post the notice or information, as soon as practicable, but no later than three business days after receipt, in a prominent location at the entrance of each rental premises that is owned by the landlord and served by the public water system, except that this requirement shall not apply in the case of single-family dwellings that do not have a common area.

†††† b.† 1A landlord shall provide the most recent notice or health and safety information that the landlord has received from a public water system concerning the presence of a PFAS in drinking water issued pursuant to subsection a. or c. of section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), to each prospective tenant prior to signing a lease agreement, unless the most recent notice is a notification, issued pursuant to subsection d. of section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), indicating that the public water system no longer exceeds a PFAS maximum containment level.

†††† c.1† The requirements of subsection a. of this section shall not apply to a landlord when a tenant is a direct customer of the public water system and is billed directly by the public water system.

†††† 1[c. When] d. †Whenever1 a public water system provides any notice or information to its customers concerning the presence of PFAS in drinking water, the public water system shall include a statement, printed in easily legible type, explaining the requirements set forth in subsection a. of this section.

†††† 1e.† (1) †For a first violation of the provisions of this section, the commissioner shall issue a written warning to the landlord, which identifies the section of the statute, rule, regulation, or order violated and recites the facts alleged to constitute a violation.

†††† (2) †For each subsequent violation of the provisions of this section, the commissioner is authorized to impose a civil administrative penalty of not more than $500.† In assessing a civil administrative penalty, the commissioner shall consider the severity of the violation, the measures taken to prevent further violations, and whether the penalty will maintain an appropriate deterrent.† Prior to the assessment of a civil administrative penalty, the commissioner shall notify the person committing the violation by certified mail or personal service that the penalty is being assessed.† The notice shall identify the section of the statute, rule, regulation, or order violated; recite the facts alleged to constitute a violation; state the basis for the amount of the civil administrative penalties to be assessed; and affirm the rights of the alleged violator to a hearing.† The ordered party shall have 35 days from receipt of the notice within which to deliver to the commissioner a written request for a hearing.† After the hearing, and upon finding that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a final order assessing the amount of the fine specified in the notice.† If no hearing is requested, the notice shall become a final order after the expiration of the 35-day period.† A civil administrative penalty assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be due and paid within 30 days after a final order is issued or the notice becomes a final order.† The commissioner may compromise any civil administrative penalty assessed under this section, in an amount and with conditions the commissioner determines appropriate.1

 

†††† 4.† a.† No later than one year after the effective date of 1[P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)] this section1 , the department 1, in conjunction with the Department of Health,1 shall establish and implement an educational program concerning PFAS in drinking water.† The program shall, at a minimum:

†††† (1)† educate the general public on the subject of PFAS and its environmental and health impacts;

†††† (2)† provide informational resources specific to PFAS in drinking water, including:

†††† (a)† an explanation of how PFAS can contaminate drinking water;

†††† (b)† the potential risks associated with PFAS in drinking water,

†††† (c)† steps that can be taken to 1[remediate] mitigate or reduce1 an exceedance of PFAS in drinking water; 1[and]1

†††† (d)† preventative measures that can be taken to prevent 1or reduce1 an exceedance of PFAS in drinking water; 1[and]

†††† (e) information about the health impacts on specific subpopulations who are particularly susceptible to PFAS contamination; and

†††† (f)† model written notices that may be utilized by public water systems and landlords to comply with the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); and1

†††† (3)† provide any other information and efforts that are determined by the department 1or the Department of Health1 to be beneficial in educating the public on the presence of PFAS in drinking water.

†††† b.† The educational program established pursuant to this section shall be published on the departmentís Internet website and updated annually.

 

†††† 5.† This act shall take effect immediately 1, except that sections 1 through 3 of this act shall take effect 18 months after the date of enactment1 .