Clean Water Action Applauds Governor Murphy’s Signing of S4110 to Address NJ’s Lead Crisis

Corroded pipe with lead service fittings. Credit: Mike Thomas / Creative Commons

Legislation allows municipalities to adopt ordinance to enter properties to perform lead service line replacements.

Trenton, NJ – Today, Clean Water Action joined Governor Murphy to applaud his signing of legislation (S4110) to address New Jersey’s lead crisis. S4110 allows municipalities to pass an ordinance to allow workers access to private property to replace lead service lines. They would have to provide notification to owners and any residents about timing, disruption of service, and provide an alternate location to get water while service disruption takes place.

“Knowing where lead service lines are, having the political will and sufficient funds to take action is not enough if you can not gain access to the property to replace the water lines," said Amy Goldsmith, State Director, Clean Water Action. "This is especially true in cities like Newark where most residents (75%) are renters and landlords largely absent. It made all the difference in the world when Newark took it upon themselves to adopt a local ordinance authorizing access. They now are now replacing lead service lines faster, more houses at a time, and at a lower cost.” 

According to Goldsmith, this is one piece of a larger puzzle in addressing New Jersey’s lead crisis. S4110 will be particularly helpful in low-income neighborhoods that are already disproportionately impacted by lead and other pollutants, and may have a higher percentage of renters.

“This legislation (S4110) is critical to enabling other municipalities to do the same without any legal roadblocks,” said Goldsmith. “Whether you are a renter or homeowner, everyone deserves equal opportunities and protection from lead poisoning. We thank the legislative sponsors and governor for making this happen."

Moving forward, Clean Water Action is calling for the state to put more pieces in place to comprehensively and quickly protect public health including mandatory lead service line inventory, more public investments, and reduction of non drinking water lead hazards.

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Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress. Clean Water Action has nearly 1 million members nationwide. www.cleanwater.org/nj

Amy Goldsmith, State Director
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