New Jersey law requires buyers or sellers of property to test the water before the sale and review the results prior to closing. Landlords are also required to periodically test and to provide tenants with test results. This test has traditionally been for a specific type and amount of microorganisms that are potentially harmful to human health. But for those of you looking to lease or sell in NJ after December 1, 2021, be aware that those requirements are getting even stricter. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has adopted additional amendments to the Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) rules that require testing for three per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA).
What are PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA?
PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA are included within a group of man-made PFAS chemicals. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940’s with PFOA and PFOS being the most widely used and studied of the PFAS chemicals.
As per the EPA, current scientific research suggests that exposure to high levels of certain PFAS may lead to adverse health effects and more research is underway to better understand the health effects associated with low levels of PFAS exposure over long periods of time. There are a variety of ways that people can be exposed to PFAS chemicals, including drinking water that is sourced from a contaminated private drinking water well.