ASSEMBLY, No. 2123

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 30, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns membership of Drinking Water Quality Institute and responsibilities of DEP related to institute.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the Drinking Water Quality Institute and amending and supplementing P.L.1983, c.443.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 10 of P.L.1983, c.443 (C.58:12A-20) is amended to read as follows:

     10.  a.   There is established in the department the Drinking Water Quality Institute.  The institute shall comprise [15] 18 members as follows: the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services , and the Chairman of the Water Supply Advisory Council, the Director of the Division of Water Resources in the department, the Director of the Office of Science and Research in the department and the Director of the Office of Occupational and Environmental Health in the Department of Health and Senior Services , all of whom shall serve ex officio;  and [nine] 12 appointed members, three of whom shall represent the water purveyors, at least one of which has as its primary water source an underground  source;  three of whom shall represent the academic scientific community [and] ; three of whom, having professionally recognized academic qualifications and backgrounds in environmental health and safety issues shall  represent the public [,] ; and three of whom, having professionally recognized academic qualifications and backgrounds in environmental health and safety issues, shall represent the commercial and industrial community , with one of each group of three set forth hereinbefore to  be appointed by the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of  the General Assembly.  Of the members first appointed, three shall serve for  terms of three years, three for terms of two years and three for terms of one  year.  Thereafter, all terms shall be for three years.  Each member shall serve  for the term of [his] appointment and until [his] a successor shall have been  appointed and qualified.  Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the  original appointment for the unexpired term only.  Any member of the institute  may be removed by the appointing authority, for cause, after public hearing.

    b.  Members of the institute shall serve without compensation, but the institute may, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for such purposes, reimburse its members for necessary expenses  incurred in the discharge of their official duties.

     c.  The institute shall meet at such times and places as may be determined by its chairman [, who] .  The chairman shall be
designated by the Governor but shall not be one of the six ex officio members .  A majority of the membership of the institute shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  Action may be taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the institute at any meeting by the affirmative vote of a majority of the full membership of the institute.

     d.    The institute shall make recommendations for the implementation of the Drinking Water Quality Program by the department.  These recommendations shall consist of:

     (1)   The development of a list of contaminants for which testing shall be required;

     (2)   The development of maximum contaminant levels;

     (3)   The development of appropriate testing techniques to measure maximum contaminant levels;

     (4)   The development of testing frequencies;

     (5)   The review of all activities undertaken pursuant to the  "Safe Drinking  Water Act" and any amendments or supplements thereto.

     e.    The Drinking Water Quality Institute shall have the authority to call to  its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State,  county or municipal department, board, commission or agency that may be  required and made available for such purposes.

(cf: P.L.1983, c.443, s.10)

 

     2.    (New section) Of the three members of the Drinking Water Quality Institute representing the commercial and industrial community first appointed pursuant to subsection a. of section 10 of P.L.1983, c.443 (C.58:12A-20), one shall serve for a term of three years, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of one  year.  Thereafter, all terms shall be for three years.

 

     3.    (New section)   a.   Prior to the initiation of any work related to the development of recommendations required pursuant to subsection d. of section 10 of P.L.1983, c.443 (C.58:12A-20), the Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Drinking Water Quality Institute, shall develop, and make available to the public on its Internet website, a prioritized workplan, which shall include, but need not be limited to, the tasks, priorities, and a schedule or the dates of action and votes.  The prioritized workplan shall be updated and disseminated at least on a semi-annual basis, and no later than two weeks after any changes are made to the workplan, including the priorities or dates of action and votes.

     b.    (1)  Prior to the department adopting any chemical risk assessment, including any guidelines or policies for evaluating the toxicity of chemicals or health evaluation of a chemical that will be used in the regulatory process, the department shall first send out to the general public, via electronic correspondence and on the department’s Internet website in addition to any other appropriate means, a call for information on the chemical or chemicals of concern.  The length of time for any information to be submitted under the call for information shall be for no less than 30 days and may be extended at the discretion of the department.  Any person may submit materials to the department during the call for information.

     (2)   The department shall review literature, data, and the information submitted by the public during the “call for information” period.  In its review, the department shall evaluate all the submissions that meet and comply with good laboratory practices standards and quality standards, as used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or guidance documents developed by that agency if applicable.  After the review, the department shall inform the public, via electronic correspondence and on the department’s Internet website, if the department intends to proceed with the development of a draft chemical risk assessment.

     (3)   Upon the development of a draft chemical risk assessment, the department shall provide for a public comment period, of at least 30 days, prior to initiating any rulemaking procedure or adopting any chemical risk assessment, including any guidelines or policies for evaluating the toxicity of chemicals or health evaluation of a chemical that will be used in the regulatory process.

     (4)   If a draft chemical risk assessment is revised after a public comment period, pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection, the department shall:

     (a)   notify any person who submitted materials to the department during the “call for information” or the public comment period that the draft chemical risk assessment has been revised; and

     (b)   provide for a public comment period, of at least 30 days, for the public to review and comment on the revised draft chemical risk assessment.

     The department shall hold a public hearing on the revised draft chemical risk assessment, or shall meet with interested stakeholder groups to respond to their concerns.

     (5)   In any case where a chemical risk assessment, including any guidelines or policies for evaluating the toxicity of chemicals or health evaluation of a chemical, is being proposed, developed, or prepared pursuant to any other law or rule or regulation, the requirements of this subsection shall not authorize a delay or postponement of any other responsibilities carried out by the department, or the institute as applicable, under such law or rule or regulation.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.


STATEMENT

 

     This bill would change the membership and responsibilities of the Drinking Water Quality Institute, by adding three members and establishing new requirements with regard to any chemical risk assessment adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

     Under the bill, the institute would have 18 members instead of 15, with three new members who, having professionally recognized academic qualifications and backgrounds in environmental health and safety issues, would represent the commercial and industrial community. 

     Existing law requires the institute to make recommendations for the implementation of the Drinking Water Quality Program by the DEP, including: (1) the development of a list of contaminants for which testing is be required; (2) the development of maximum contaminant levels; (3) the development of appropriate testing techniques to measure maximum contaminant levels; (4) the development of testing frequencies; and (5) the review of all activities undertaken pursuant to the “Safe Drinking  Water Act.”  This bill would place new requirements on the DEP related to the responsibilities of the institute. 

     The bill would require that, prior to the initiation of any work related to the development of recommendations by the institute, the DEP in consultation with the institute must develop, and make available to the public on its website, a prioritized workplan, which would include, but need not be limited to, the tasks, priorities, and a schedule or the dates of action and votes.  The prioritized workplan would be updated and disseminated at least on a semi-annual basis, and no later than two weeks after any changes are made to the workplan.

     This bill would also require the DEP to solicit information from the public and establish a public process prior to the DEP adopting any chemical risk assessment, including any guidelines or policies for evaluating the toxicity of chemicals, or health evaluation of a chemical that will be used in the regulatory process.

     The requirements under this bill would not authorize a delay or postponement of any other responsibilities carried out by the DEP, or the institute as applicable, under any other law or rule or regulation.