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Assemblywoman Stender Introduces Legislation Related to Scotch Plains Water Main Break

Stender introduced legislation requiring utilities to cover the costs related to flood damage.


The following information was provided by Assemblywoman Linda Stender's office.



Assemblywoman Linda Stender has introduced legislation requiring water utilities to cover costs related to flood damage under certain circumstances.  This past July, a 48 inch water main broke in Scotch Plains.   

Many residents adjacent to the broken water main were victims of flooding which resulted in thousands of dollars in damages to their homes. The water company claimed they were not responsible to repair the costs of the damage.  Some of the resident’s homeowner policies denied the claims as well, leaving homeowners responsible for the costs of repairs.

“I find it outrageous that a homeowner would be responsible to pay to repair the damage caused by a water main break.” said Stender.  “They did not cause the break, they pay their bill, the cost of repairing should be bore by the water companies.”

A-3443 would require compensation to the claimant for the cost of restoring real and personal property, and any income, loan interests or tax revenue lost from the time the property is damaged to the time the property is repaired.

“I am hoping to alleviate future conflicts due to accidental incidents,” added Stender. “While many of our pipelines are well-maintained, our infrastructure is getting older. Residents should not have to face the shock of being responsible for a flood caused by an outside source.”

Flooding would have to be a result of failure by a water utility’s facilities or water delivery system, including a water main break, leak, or other similar occurrence not caused by a major catastrophic event or located in a flood zone.

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Derek December 20, 2012 at 03:03 PM
So, what's the next step with this? The legislation is introduced, it then gets whittled away until what's passed (if it's passed), is a different version completely. I think this is a great first step and hope to see it eventually become law.
Michael Lewis December 20, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Agree, and I do not agree often with Ms. Stender. Property owners should have SOME recourse for a failure clearly within the scope of a utility. I do not know if this proposal carries over into the New Year but it cannot hurt to remind our representatives that there are voters out there with an interest. Legislative representatives for Scotch Plains: aswstender@njleg.org asmgreen@njleg.org senscutari@njleg.org Legislative representatives for Westfield: asmbramnick@njleg.org aswmunoz@njleg.org senkean@njleg.org Ms. Stender's local legislative office is located at 1801 East Second Street in Scotch Plains – Telephone (908) 668-1900. Legislative offices for Messrs Bramnick ((908) 232-2073) and Kean ((908) 232-3673)) at 425 North Avenue East (Old “New Norris Chevrolet”) in Westfield. Not knowing whether the legislation will carry over, I also cannot speak as to whether it might be possible to pursue resolutions of support from the Borough Council of Fanwood / Township Council of SP, but it never hurts to ask - especially with a new regime coming in in Scotch Plains.

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