Governor Chris Christie signed a law Monday which "prohibits health care facilities from discharging prescription medications into sewer or septic systems."
The legislation, A-733, was written in response to a 2008 Associated Press report which found "a vast array of pharmaceuticals" in the drinking water of at least 41 million Americans. There were seven drugs, including caffeine, carbamazepine, codeine, cotinine, dehydronifedipine, diphenhydramine and sulfathiazole found in northern New Jersey drinking water, according to the report.
The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-Bergen and Passaic).
“The safest way to make sure children aren’t at risk from pharmaceuticals in our drinking water is to stop dumping medicine into the water supply,” Schepisi said in a press release. “Medical facilities can lead the way by disposing unused drugs.”
An annual United Water report released earlier this year stated the company received no violations in 2011 for contaminants in its local supply.