Children Should Not be the Canary in the Lead Mine
Your Update From Lead-Free NJ

October 27, 2022
Smiling school children sitting at a lunch table.
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To Protect Children from Lead Paint Exposure, We Need to Identify and Remove Lead Paint from Schools
Lead contamination is especially concerning for children as a result of their rapid mental and physical development. The risks for even a small amount of lead include behavioral, neurological and mental disabilities, and hearing and speech problems. 

Starting in the 2021–2022 school year, the New Jersey Board of Education mandated lead testing every three years for drinking and cooking water in public schools. The school districts are required to develop a lead sampling plan for the collection and third-party lab certified analysis. Schools are required to submit lead tests to the state and to make the test results publicly available on the school or district’s website. Read more here.

Our LFNJ one-page Lead in Schools flier is now available! You can download it hereOther resources on lead are available for review here.
Newark Will Benefit from EPA’s New Outreach and Education Initiative
As part of its Enhancing Lead-Safe Work Practices through Education and Outreach (ELSWPEO) program, the EPA will facilitate renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) lead-safe certification trainings and Lead Awareness Curriculum. Newark was selected among 21 other U.S.cities. Learn more here.
     More Funding & Resources Opportunities
Take Advantage of NJ Department of Community Affairs Funding for Lead-paint Remediation
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has a variety of lead-based paint hazard assistance programs to assist eligible occupants in remediating and/or abatement of lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 one to four family residential units. Eligible applicants who are designated community-based agencies or municipalities can apply. See the DCA website for more information.
NEW Primer for Mayors Released:
How to Replace Lead Pipes
As there is no safe level for lead exposure, water systems in New Jersey are working to meet the new statutory requirement to replace all lead service lines (LSL) by 2031. This monumental effort requires collaboration and coordination; mayors, business administrators, and city managers will all play a pivotal role. This quarterly primer from the JWW Lead in Drinking Water Task Force provides key information on how lead pipes can be replaced quickly, cost-effectively, and with community support.
On the Ground in Our Towns
Ocean City Making Strides
New Jersey American Water is replacing about 7,300 feet of aging water main and 2,450 feet of aging wastewater, along with 250 utility-owned service lines. This is great news and we hope other municipalities will follow.
Belleville Replacing Lead Pipes Soon
New Jersey is making every town and city replace their lead service pipes. Belleville is the next town to start the process. Belleville Township Mayor announced on September 27th that they will begin lead pipe replacement in November.
Trenton Receives $5.5 million Grant to Reduce
Lead in Water
On October 12th it was announced that The City of Trenton is receiving a grant of $5,530,000 to help reduce lead exposure in the city’s water systems. “This EPA WIIN grant is an important step toward environmental justice in New Jersey’s 12th District. Lead contamination disproportionately harms low-income, Black, and brown communities, resulting in poor health outcomes for those who are already struggling,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12). “By removing lead and bringing Trenton’s water infrastructure into the 21st century, this investment will ensure that the residents of our state capital have clean, safe water for generations to come.”
Lead-Free NJ Community Hubs in Action
Successful Tabling at our Paterson Hub’s Event
We always celebrate the great work of our Lead-Free NJ Community hubs. This one on Friday September 9 was no exception. Paterson Habitat for Humanity organized an event in the local community to celebrate the opening of the new Clinton Street Park. Along with our partner at Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, we were able to meet Paterson community members, get the word out on lead hazards and ways to get children tested. Please contact Unique Bacote, LFNJ Paterson Hub Leader, at
Newark Water Coalition Visits Rutgers
The Newark Water Coalition lab team was able to visit the Rutgers School of Public Health labs in New Brunswick in October to verify some of the results from their mobile lead testing project. Please contact Anthony Diaz, LFNJ Newark Hub Leader, at
Photo credit: Newark Water Coalition
Lead-Free NJ (LFNJ) Organizational News
LFNJ Hosts Membership Meeting To Engage Communities
Our September meeting was an opportunity for our members to learn, discuss, and hear about the program’s progress and plans. The evening featured a panel discussion on lead law implementation, breakout sessions, and resources on how to advocate for management of lead in one’s own community. Read more here.
New Jersey Future Recognizes Collaborative Member Yvette Jordan
Lead-Free NJ is proud to congratulate Yvette Jordan, NEW Caucus and LFNJ Advocacy chair & Steering Committee member! She is a recipient of the Cary Edwards Leadership Award, along with Chris Daggett, former President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation as part of New Jersey Future's Smart Growth Awards Virtual Showcase on November 10. Her passionate work as a community leader in underserved communities has not gone unnoticed, and this award is well-deserved. You can pre-register to attend the event for free here.
LFNJ will be in Trenton to Mark National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 
We are excited to join our Trenton Community Hub, East Trenton Collaborative, at their annual community Halloween event on October 30th. We’ll be educating the community around the hazards of lead and the actions residents can take to minimize exposure. If you are in the area, drop by this great event.
Graphic credit: United States Environment Protection Agency
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Job Opportunities

Do you have a lead-free event, opportunity, or highlight you'd like to share? Email Heather Sorge with the details and get it featured in the next newsletter!
Pending Lead Legislation
Lead-Related Bills to Watch:
  • S280 - Requires DOE and DCF to establish online reporting systems for schools and child care centers to report lead testing results.
  • A799 - Allows gross income tax deduction for amounts paid for removal of lead, asbestos, sodium, chloride, and other contaminants from taxpayer's property. Community Development and Affairs
  • A659 - Authorizes common law public nuisance suits regarding lead paint under State law; exempts Attorney General from certain aspects of public nuisance claims when pursuing lead paint actions.
  • A1892 - Allows municipalities to establish loan programs to fund replacement of lead service lines.
  • A2416 - Requires financial institution that has foreclosed on property to remove water service lines that contain lead.
  • A3712/S2695 - Requires disclosure of lead drinking water hazards to tenants of residential units; prohibits landlords from obstructing replacement of lead service lines; requires inspection of residential rental units for lead drinking water hazards. 
  • S1507 - Revises and codifies schedule for childhood lead screenings; requires lead screenings as precondition of child's initial entry into school system.
  • A4770 - Requires landlords of certain properties providing child care services who refuse lead service line replacements to install and maintain water filters.
The Mission of Lead-Free NJ

About 4,000 children in NJ are lead-poisoned every year. Many of these children reside in low-income communities and/or communities of color and are most at risk because investments have not been made to remove lead from its most common sources—paint, water, and soil. Lead-Free NJ is a collaborative made up of neighbors, friends, families, faith leaders, professionals, and elected officials working together to #GetTheLeadOut. 

Staff Contact Information
Heather Sorge, Program Manager
New Jersey Future
Suzanne Aptman, Community Organizer and Policy Advocate
New Jersey Future