💧 Should you be told about cancer-causing chemicals in your water?
💧 A proposed bill would force water companies to let you know
💧 “Forever chemicals” also cause liver damage, high cholesterol

A plan is advancing in the state Legislature that would require all public water systems in New Jersey to let you know if there are high levels of dangerous chemicals in your drinking water.

Bill S3179, approved by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, would force water companies to let customers know if the water coming out of the tap contains elevated levels of perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, referred to as PFAS.

PFAS are man-made chemical compounds used in some consumer products to repel grease, oil and water. It can accumulate in a person’s bloodstream and cause serious health effects including an elevated risk of cancer, high cholesterol and liver damage.

woman holding glass at water tap and filling water.
Helmut Seisenberger ThinkStock

NJ lawmaker says residents deserve to know what's in their water

State Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Mercer, one of the prime sponsors of the bill, said “ridding our water systems entirely of PFAS is our long-term goal but while we work towards that goal, families deserve to know whether their drinking water is safe.”

State Sen. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, said “our fight against PFAS requires more time and data to implement permanent solutions however currently, the most effective weapons in our possession to combat these dangerous chemicals are education and limitation.”

Pitcher pouring a glass of water
Hans Van IJzendoorn ThinkStock

Landlords would be required to tell tenants

The measure would require public water systems with higher than permitted levels of PFAS to provide written notice to all customers, including landlords of buildings, within 30 days of being discovered.

Landlords would then be required to post and distribute the notice to all tenants within three business days after receipt. The bill would exempt landlords of tenants who are direct customers of public water systems and are billed directly by the system.

The legislation would also require the DEP to establish and publish an education on its website an educational program that examines the health impacts of PFAS in drinking water.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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