Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex) to fund the remediation of lead contamination in public buildings has been advanced by the New Jersey Senate.
“We saw earlier this year in Newark and other towns across the state just how pressing our lead problem is,” Senator Bateman said. “We have to come up with a way to test the water systems in our public buildings, and if they have lead contamination, we have to find a way remediate it.”
We have to come up with a way to fix lead contamination in our public buildings. https://t.co/gOh6vQG11C
— Senator Kip Bateman (@KipBateman) September 15, 2016
The legislation, S-2062, appropriates up to $20 million from the Clean Energy Fund to the Department of Environmental Protection to pay the costs of remediation of elevated lead levels found in drinking water in public buildings. The fund is paid for through a “societal benefits charge” collected by New Jersey utility companies that is used to cover the costs of things like nuclear decommissioning, investment in renewable energy, helping low-income individuals pay their utility bills and environmental remediation.
The Clean Energy Fund is projected to have a surplus of more than $156 million this year, making it a simple way to fund lead abatement without a further increase in taxes on New Jersey residents.
“This money is just sitting there in an underutilized fund when it could be used to pay for an important project to improve a critical public health issue,” Senator Bateman said. “With school already in session, we can’t wait any longer to begin testing and treatment.”