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NJ law bars drugs down drain at health facilities

Associated Press Published: November 19, 2012
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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation that bars health care facilities from discarding prescription medication into public sewers or septic systems.

Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (sheh-PEE'-zee) says the new law is intended to help prevent drugs from showing up in drinking water.

She says the legislation was introduced in response to a 2008 Associated Press series that found trace amount of pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans — including in the Passaic Valley Water Commission's treatment plant.

The AP series found that hospitals and long-term care facilities were flushing much of their unused medications down drains.

Schepisi, who is from Westwood in Bergen County, says the new law helps ensure drinking water is as close as possible to what natured intended.