ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

ASSEMBLY, No. 4095

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

  ADOPTED OCTOBER 13, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  TIM EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblyman  JAMEL C. HOLLEY

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblywoman  ELIZABETH MAHER MUOIO

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  NICHOLAS CHIARAVALLOTI

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Jimenez and Lampitt

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs DEP to adopt standards for drinking water contaminants based upon recommendations of Drinking Water Quality Institute.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Substitute as adopted by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

  

 

 

 


An Act concerning standards for certain drinking water contaminants 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.    The Legislature finds and declares that the maintenance of high quality potable water is essential in order to safeguard the health and welfare of the people of the State.  Recognizing this, in 1977, the Legislature passed the “Safe Drinking Water Act,” which, among other things, directed the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and enforce State primary drinking water regulations.  In 1983, amendments to the act created the Drinking Water Quality Institute, a panel of experts tasked with developing standards for hazardous contaminants in drinking water and recommending those standards for adoption by the department.  The 1983 amendments also directed the department, after considering the recommendations of the institute, to establish standards for 22 listed organic compounds and any other contaminants that are present in New Jersey drinking water and may be harmful to human health. 

     The Legislature further finds and declares that, 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 department has failed to adopt new or more stringent standards for approximately 16 contaminants, even though the institute has made recommendations concerning those contaminants.  The institute’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.  Most recently, the institute recommended a standard for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), a hazardous organic chemical recently detected in the drinking water supplies of several townships in southern New Jersey. 

     The Legislature further finds and declares that, as the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of the State’s drinking water supply, the department 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 institute’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 institute should be swiftly considered and maximum contaminant levels for those contaminants should be adopted by the department.

     2.    a.  (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1983, c.443 (C.58:12A-13) to the contrary, no more than 60 days after the date of enactment of P.L.   , c.   (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), after considering the recommendations for maximum contaminant levels of the Drinking Water Quality Institute, the commissioner shall propose rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), which establish maximum contaminant levels for each of the following drinking water contaminants:

     (a)  Perchlorate, recommended in October 2005;

     (b)  Radon-222, recommended in February 2009;

     (c)  Benzene, recommended in March 2009;

     (d)  Carbon tetrachloride, recommended in March 2009;

     (e)  1,3-dichlorobenzene, recommended in March 2009;

     (f)  1,4-dichlorobenzene, recommended in March 2009;

     (g)  1,2-dichloroethane, recommended in March 2009;

     (h)  Formaldehyde, recommended in March 2009;

     (i)  n-Hexane, recommended in March 2009;

     (j)  Methyl ethyl ketone, recommended in March 2009;

     (k)  Vinyl chloride, recommended in March 2009;

     (l)  DCPA and degradates, as recommended in March 2009;

     (m)  1,1-dichloroethane, recommended in March 2009;

     (n)  1,1,2-trichloroethane, recommended in March 2009;

     (o)  1,2,3-trichloropropane, recommended in March 2009; and

     (p)  perfluorononanoic acid, recommended in July 2015.

     (2)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1983, c.443 (C.58:12A-13) to the contrary, no more than 60 days after the Drinking Water Quality Institute transmits a recommendation to the Department of Environmental Protection of a drinking water maximum contaminant level, the commissioner shall propose rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), which establish a maximum contaminant level for that contaminant.

     b.    If the maximum contaminant levels proposed by the commissioner pursuant to subsection a. of this section differ from the recommendations made by the Drinking Water Quality Institute, the commissioner shall detail the reasons for the deviation from those recommendations in the proposal made pursuant to subsection a. of this section.

     c.     The rules and regulations proposed for adoption pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be adopted pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), no more than 180 days after the publication of the proposal.

     d.    Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1983, c.443 (C.58:12A-13) or the requirements of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to the contrary, if the commissioner fails to adopt maximum contaminant levels as required pursuant to subsection c. of this section, then the commissioner shall adopt, within 240 days after the date of enactment of P.L.   , c.   (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) for those contaminants listed in paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section, or within 240 days after the date of the transmission of the Drinking Water Quality Institute’s recommendations for any other contaminant, the standards for the drinking water contaminants as recommended.

 

     3.    a.  The Drinking Water Quality Institute shall study the issue of perfluorinated compounds in drinking water, including perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, and recommend to the Department of Environmental Protection maximum contaminant levels for perfluorinated compounds in drinking water.

     b.    The Department of Environmental Protection shall adopt maximum contaminant levels for perfluorinated compounds based upon the recommendations made by the Drinking Water Quality Institute pursuant to the procedures established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.