August 27, 2019

IT'S AS IF THE CITIZENRY MATTERS TO THE OFFICIALS:

Newark Water Crisis: Racing to Replace Lead Pipes in Under 3 Years (Nick Corasaniti, Aug. 26, 2019, NY Times)

Weeks into an escalating public health crisis caused by elevated levels of lead in the water, officials announced on Monday a new $120 million plan to expedite the replacement of ancient service pipes in New Jersey's largest city.

The new financing will allow the city to replace the 18,000 buried lead service lines in the next 24 to 30 months, according to Mayor Ras Baraka, a significant change from what city officials had estimated would take 10 years to complete.

"We are going to do this as swiftly as humanly possible," Mr. Baraka said at a news conference in Newark, standing with the governor and about two dozen other New Jersey officials.

Years of neglect, mismanagement and denials have plunged Newark into one of the largest environmental crises in an American city in years, provoking anger, confusion and frustration among its 285,000 residents.

Though lead has long been an issue here, the situation escalated in October after a spate of tests led to the distribution of faucet water filters -- the same filters used in Flint, Mich. -- to remove lead that had been leaching into tap water.

But two weeks ago, more testing found that some of the filters were failing to adequately remove lead, and the city was forced to distribute bottled water. [...]

The city has thousands more lead service lines -- garden-hose size pipes that connect its water mains to individual properties -- to replace than did Flint, Mich., which has been grappling with its lead-tainted water since 2014.

Posted by at August 27, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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