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TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey’s hundreds of water systems must take inventory of their lead pipes and replace them over the next decade under a new law.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill Thursday, making New Jersey the latest state, along with California, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, to call for an inventory of how many lead pipes carry drinking water to residents.

Lead is not safe at any level to ingest and leads to developmental problems for children.

The issue made headlines in 2019, with Newark and Trenton beginning to identify and replace lead service lines.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic preoccupying government and residents alike over the last year and a half, lead remediation declined in visibility.