NJ Officials: We’re Working With EPA to Test Lead in Newark Drinking Water - NBC New York

NJ Officials: We’re Working With EPA to Test Lead in Newark Drinking Water

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Newark Residents Demand Answers Regarding Lead in Water

    People in New Jersey want to know just how widespread the problem of lead in the water really is, while NJ authorities say they are now working with federal authorities to get answers. NBC 4 New York's Brian Thompson reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019)

    What to Know

    • NJ authorities said Wednesday they're working with federal officials to determine how widespread lead in Newark's drinking water might be

    • The city handed out bottled water to residents for the third day in a row

    • Gov. Phil Murphy, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka addressed residents

    New Jersey authorities said Wednesday they're working with federal officials to determine how widespread lead in Newark's drinking water might be, as the city handed out bottled water to residents for the third day in a row.

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka spoke at a news conference after touring a bottled water distribution center.

    The event came just days after word that two homes in New Jersey's biggest city tested positive for lead in the water despite the use of filters, and the mayor and governor vowed to hand out bottled water.

    McCabe said she is meeting in Washington Thursday with federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler about the issue, and she added that officials are trying to get a handle on how widespread the issue is. She emphasized that authorities have limited results so far.

    Gov. Murphy, Mayor Baraka to Tour Water Centers in Newark

    [NY] Gov. Murphy, Mayor Baraka to Tour Water Centers in Newark

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday are expected to tour the water distribution centers that came under fire the day before for handing out "expired" bottled water to residents who can't use their tap water due to elevated lead levels. Tracie Strahan reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019)

    Newark dealt with elevated lead levels in its service lines for years and distributed nearly 40,000 filters since last year because some homes with lead service lines tested positive for the substance.

    The latest issue came about when three homes' filters were checked recently and two tested positive for lead.

    Officials say no level of lead is safe. But federal rules set a level of 15 parts per billion as a tripwire. In Newark's case, authorities said the lead is leaching in from the pipes and is not originating from the source water, which comes from a water treatment plant about 18 miles (29 kilometers) northwest of the city.

    It's unclear how high the lead levels in the two homes that tested positive were. McCabe and Murphy stressed Wednesday that the levels showed a drop but weren't low enough to meet the federal threshold. Baraka said the city doesn't yet have enough information to know whether the filters the city distributed are working. McCabe noted that the same filters have been used in Flint, Michigan, where lead leached into the water supply in 2014 and 2015.

    Newark operates a lead information website that allows residents to look up whether their homes have lead service lines.

    Murphy said the state has about 70,000 cases of water through its emergency management agency available. He added that private corporations and faith-based groups are also volunteering water to give to residents.

    New Water Worries in Newark

    [NY] New Water Worries in Newark
    Newark said it temporarily paused handing out emergency bottled water Tuesday as they await "a new shipment of water from the State of NJ. Gaby Acevedo reports.
    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019)

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