May 8, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

On Wednesday, May 5th Democratic Policy Committee held a virtual policy hearing on Legionella prevention in Pennsylvania and the concerns as buildings begin to reopen. Stagnant water, like that in buildings that have been closed for extended periods, provides an ideal environment for Legionella to grow. They are particularly vulnerable to bacterial growth, including Legionella, when the systems aren’t cared for properly. Despite these serious risks, there is currently no regulations in the state of Pennsylvania regarding legionnaires disease and water management.

“Legionnaire’s disease is a largely preventable disease,” said Dr. Richard Miller, Co-Founder/President/Chief Scientific Officer at Environmental Safety Technologies, Inc. during the policy hearing on Wednesday. A new bill introduced in the 2019-2020 legislative session regarding this very issue. Senator Fontana sponsored Senate Bill 1285 which he states will make Legionella testing a required part of water management and help bridge the current regulatory gap that exists. The pandemic has created an opportunity for building managers and residential homeowners to better understand their water systems and implement water maintenance programs.

This bill will have a focus on buildings that have the potential to put high risk individuals at risk. These requirements will include cooling towers, senior centers, hospitals, and more. Currently, New York, Virginia, and New Orleans have similar legislation already in place. [1]

Mark W. LeChevallier, Ph.D. is the recently retired Vice President and Chief Environmental Officer for American Water. In his testimony at the policy hearing, he stated “I applaud the intent and scope of Senate Bill 1285, as I myself have encouraged increased testing and management of Legionella in water systems….As our country (hopefully) comes out of pandemic lockdown, the need for awareness and management of Legionella in buildings is never as important. The following comments are provided to help improve the public health protections of Senate Bill 1285.” [2]

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For more information on Legionnaires’ disease, check out the National Academies of Sciences Management of Legionella in Water Systems Report Here.

You can find a similar post about schools reopening here.

THE MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE HAVE BEEN PREPARED BY JULES ZACHER, P.C. FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL COUNSEL.  

[1] Find local reporting on this here

[2] Find transcripts from the Legionella Prevention Policy Hearing here,

And Dr. LeChevallier’s testimony here.

PA Senate Democrats Hold Policy Hearing on Legionella Prevention was last modified: May 8th, 2021 by zacherlaw

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