March 15, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

As a result of the substantial increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases in Pennsylvania, state Senators Wayne Fontana (D-42) and Joe Pittman (R-41), in a bipartisan effort, have introduced legislation SB 1125 to help curtail the spread of Legionella bacteria. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the bacteria genus Legionella. Infection occurs when an infectious dose of the bacteria enters deeply into a susceptible person’s lungs, either by inhaling contaminated aerosolized water droplets, or by aspirating water into the lungs. A Senate Democrat hearing focusing on Legionella was held on May 5, 2021, where expert panelists testified that buildings shut down during the pandemic and are now beginning to reopen pose a significant risk if the quality of water is not checked. 

This legislation would help to raise awareness while establishing prevention and mitigation strategies by directing both public drinking water providers and certain building owners to conduct assessments and monitor their water systems. It would further codify the seven-step standard, ASHRAE-188, which is backed by the Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC), as well as many other federal administrative agencies.

Building owners would be required to adopt water management plans and implement mitigation measures such as flushing water systems, temperature management for hot and cold systems, and routine monitoring of water systems. The bill would further require routine testing of water systems for Legionella pneumophila bacteria.

To read more about the proposed Pennsylvania Legionnaires’ Disease legislation, click here.

To read the full text of the proposed bill, click here.

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

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Proposed Pennsylvania Legionnaires’ Disease Legislation was last modified: March 15th, 2022 by zacherlaw

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