NJ Lawmaker Wants Changes In Lead Testing Procedures

Aug 22, 2017

Assemblyman Dan Benson

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to change how water providers respond when they find elevated levels of lead in the system.

Assemblyman Dan Benson says current law requires a utility that finds high lead concentrations to send a letter to residents, but not municipalities and school districts.

"You'd want that because so often these municipalities have reverse 911 systems. They can hopefully provide additional information or coordinate a response to make sure that residents are protected."  

After the Trenton Water Works found elevated levels of lead in parts of its system, Benson says it wrote to customers suggesting they test the water in their homes.

"We have found that they encourage DEP certified lead testers. That can be a cost of $150 per test. That can be a sizeable amount for many families. So what we want to do, is at a municipality's request, to be able to use DEP funding to reimburse for those tests."

Benson says families can't be expected to wait six months for a water provider to do more periodic testing. There's no indication when the legislature might act on his proposals.