For Immediate Release
Today Governor Murphy called on all state utilities to suspend water shutoffs in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Murphy added if there are utilities that do not voluntarily agree to stop shutoffs by tomorrow, he will order them to do so.
In response, Food & Water Action New Jersey State Director Matt Smith issued the following statement:
“Requiring water utilities to stop shutoffs during a pandemic is a necessary public safety policy that will protect families across the state. This should not be left to voluntary compliance from private utilities, some of which fail to even disclose the number of households they cut off due to non-payment.
“While stopping shutoffs is vital, the next step for the Murphy administration should be to demand full restoration of services to households whose water service was cut off prior to this emergency. That is the goal of a new bill introduced by Senator Vin Gopal (S2325), and it would be a significant step forward.
“In the end, we must treat water service as a basic human right for everyone at all times, not just in the midst of a public health crisis.”