For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Jackie.Greger@sierraclub.org
Gov. Murphy Signs Nation-Leading PFAs Bill Into Law, More Needed for Strongest Protections
Trenton – On January 16th, Governor Murphy signed into law a nation-leading law on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), requiring the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Drinking Water Quality Institute to perform a study concerning their regulation and treatment. The study will assess feasibility for establishing a maximum of contaminant levels or other standards for the entire class or specific subclasses or mixtures of PFAS in drinking water rather than for each substance. The study shall also include an assessment of treatment technologies that may effectively remove PFAS from drinking water or wastewater.
The bill, S-3176/A-4760 (Greenstein, Smith/Swain, Haider, Tully), is a massive win for toxics regulation and the protection of drinking water for New Jerseyans. This posits our state leaps and bounds beyond what others have done across the county and even beyond measures taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Anjuli Ramos-Busot, New Jersey Director of the Sierra Club, released the following statement:
“PFAS contamination is widespread and a significant problem for public health here in NJ, and it is essential to know that the contamination is not just in our waters. It’s in our air, soils, and vegetation. As stated in the legislation, there are over 12,000 different PFAS chemicals out there, and their toxicity varies significantly depending upon their chemical structure. The regulation of PFAS in NJ ultimately depends on their impact on public health; this is true for water but also for air quality. Therefore, understanding PFAS toxicity even on a category basis, not individually, would provide the NJDEP the ability to truly get a handle and regulate PFAS pollution from the source and not just clean it when it has already contaminated all environmental media.
This law does not tell the NJDEP how to categorize PFAS; it leaves it up to science, which is the correct thing to do. Additionally, this bill provides the NJDEP the ability to understand PFAS better, control them, and ultimately protect public health.
We thank Senator Greenstein and Assemblywoman Swain for their leadership in pushing forward science, research, and regulation of PFAS chemicals in NJ. Thank you to Governor Murphy for recognizing the desperate need to tackle PFAS pollution in the state.”
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information about our work in New Jersey, visit www.sierraclub.org/new-jersey.