Exciting Things to Come!
Your Monthly Update From Lead-Free NJ

April 26, 2022
Smiling school children sitting at a lunch table.
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Greetings! thank you for subscribing to Lead-Free NJ’s monthly newsletter! Our newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the collaborative’s work and what is going on throughout the state regarding issues you’re passionate about, including protecting children from lead poisoning and equitable lead policy change. Most importantly, the newsletter will provide you with opportunities to work with us to #GetTheLeadOut. We know that so many emails come into your inbox, but we hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to stay connected! 

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Join us for our May 5 Membership Meeting - Stipends Available!

Register now to attend this important, informative meeting.

This quarterly meeting will focus on local advocacy efforts and helping our members learn how to take action! Join us and become a part of the conversation on how to create change! You will receive important updates from our community hubs and their advocacy goals, get informed about policy updates on lead remediation, and find out about how you can help expand the LFNJ collaborative and advocate for much-needed change across the state.

With communities determined to remove lead from the environment and potential opportunities in place to fund their efforts, this is an important moment for lead-free advocates to join in and support them. 

*NOTE: A limited number of $30 Visa gift cards are available to those who need compensation for attendance. For more information, email hsorge@njfuture.org.
What's New at our LFNJ Hubs?
LFNJ currently has three Community Hubs, local grassroots organizations that help define and advance the LFNJ collaborative’s yearly objectives and long-term goals. Each Community Hub participates in the statewide collaborative but also convenes to coordinate local efforts, strategize on solutions, and raise awareness about lead exposure among residents. Community Hubs’ specific plans are tailored to the needs of their distinct communities in Newark, Paterson, and Trenton.
Exciting Things Happening at the East Trenton Collaborative LFNJ Hub!
The East Trenton Collaborative (ETC) held a press event on April 9 at Trenton Water works to announce its official launch as a Lead-Free NJ Community Hub. Organizations including Isles, Trenton Health Team, Trenton Water Works, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), Lead-Free NJ, and ETC were available to provide information and resources to residents, including free water pitchers with lead-removing filters. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey was also onsite to provide assistance with voter registration.

The Trenton Hub is planning a much larger community event on May 14 celebrating the partnership between LFNJ and ETC in coordination with ETC’s Trenton Community BBQ and Watershed Cleanup Day. All are welcome to attend the May 14 event at no cost. Be on the lookout for more information!
ETC, LFNJ, GHHI, Isles, Trenton Health Team, Trenton Water Works, and the League of Women Voters came together to provide resources to the Trenton Community.
Photo Credit: East Trenton Collaborative
Kristin Epstein, Trenton Water Works, hands out water pitchers with lead-removing filters to residents.
Making Progress at Paterson Habitat for Humanity
Earlier this month, Lead-Free NJ Program Manager Heather Sorge and Community Organizer La Tina Gaines visited Paterson Habitat for Humanity and spent the day with Paterson Habitat’s Lead-Free Organizer Unique Bacote. Unique provided a tour of the city, shared its rich history, and explained the various needs of the community.

The Paterson Hub continues to address the more than 300 Paterson children who were found to have lead poisoning last year. Their work includes requests to work with St. Joseph’s University Medical Center on educating those already affected and door-to-door outreach on the dangers of lead exposure and testing for those who may not be aware of the risks. One of its goals is to help empower residents to speak on this issue.
Unique Bacote, Paterson Habitat for Humanity, with LFNJ's Heather Sorge and La Tina Gaines.
Homes For All Newark - Newark Residents Survey is Underway
Please join Homes for All Newark for our next monthly membership meeting! All are welcome to attend! Email nwkhomesforall@gmail.com for the virtual meeting information. If you are a Newark resident or you know of Newark residents concerned about lead issues in their homes and other residential quality of life issues in the city of Newark, please take (and/or share) the Homes for All Newark survey through the QR code below or through this link: https://forms.gle/xCMADS5LF167ZNj16
Get Connected!
We hope you’ll take a minute to:
  • Share your story about your experience with lead exposure as we work to help people better understand the devastating effects of lead exposure and the need for change.
  • Check out our community organizing toolkit, which provides practical advice and guidance not only for lead-free organizers, but for anyone looking to create lasting policy change in their community as well.

Stay Connected With LFNJ on Social Media

Are you following us on social media yet? Get up-to-date information from Lead-Free NJ even faster on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Take a minute to hit that follow button!
Letters Regarding Lead Service Lines
According to the NJDEP website, “Water systems in NJ are required to notify residents, non-paying consumers (e.g., a renter not responsible for the water bill), and any off-site owner of a property (e.g., landlord) when it is known they are served by a lead service line no later than February 21, 2022. Water systems will also be required to replace all lead service lines in their service area by 2031.”

If you did not receive a letter from your water supplier and believe one should have been sent to you, or if you have any questions, please reach out to your water supplier. If you are unsure who your water supplier is you can find that information here. You can also contact the NJDEP at LeadInDW@dep.nj.gov or 609-292-5550.
Highlights & Opportunities
On March 13, 2022, Lead-Free NJ Advocates Gwen Grier, Vanessa Solivan, and Shereyl Snider, along with Ms. Veronica Davis—an East Trenton resident and community advocate—attended the Board of Mercer County Commissioners meeting at 640 S. Broad Street in Trenton.

At that meeting, Ms. Snider asked the commissioners, “Will the county please use infrastructure dollars and ARP funds to help Trenton residents get lead pipes replaced at no cost to residents?” The Commissioners all responded in favor of her request. Ms. Snider, Trenton Lead-Free advocates, and community members will now be following up to ensure that next steps are taken. Their goal is to utilize county ARP funding, State funding, and Trenton ARP dollars to replace current water service lines, which are made from lead, with safer copper lines.

Please come and support the Lead-Free advocates when they return for the next Commissioners meeting on May 12 and follow up on their lead service line replacement funding request. Add your voice to the conversation and join them on May 12, 6:00pm sharp at 640 S. Broad Street in Trenton.
Mercer County Commissioner Sam Frisby, East Trenton resident Veronica Davis, LFNJ advocate Gwen Grier, LFNJ advocate Vanessa Solivan, Mercer County Commissioner Lucylle Walter, and LFNJ advocate Shereyl Snider following the Mercer County Commissioners Meeting.
Photo Credit: Staff of Commissioner Frisby
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
Assemblyman Schaer introduced a new bill this month, A3712, which 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. 

We will continue to watch this bill closely and provide updates.

Other 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 of $45k/yr for spending on removal of lead and other contaminants (e.g., asbestos) from taxpayers’ property. The bill was reintroduced for the 2022 session and is presently in the Assembly Community Development Committee.
  • 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.
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

La Tina Gaines, Community Organizer
New Jersey Future