The City of Newark announced Friday it would immediately start handing out free new water filters to residents at risk of lead contamination amid a lawsuit against the city alleging inaction over lead in the drinking water.
Newark mayor Ras Baraka issued a statement Friday announcing the campaign to provide water filters to homes known or suspected of having lead service lines. "The City will also work with community organizations and City employees to conduct a door to door canvass to deliver water filters to those with lead service lines," he said.
Litigation is ongoing in a safe drinking lawsuit filed against the City of Newark in June, The Natural Resources Defense Council said Friday.
It said the free filter initiative was being offered more than a year after community groups alerted the city that it had failed to respond to lead contamination in drinking water.
"Newark’s water has some of the highest lead levels of any big city in the nation. They have known for more than a year, yet they’ve told residents it’s safe to drink," NRDC senior director for health and food Erik Olson said.
He said the city's promise to provide new water filters was a direct result of Newark's residents taking a stand -- however added there was much more to be done.
FILTER PICK-UP LOCATIONS
Filters can be picked up at the Department of Health and Community Wellness, located at 110 William Street, Newark. Six Recreation Centers as well as City Hall, Central Avenue, and the Health Department will be also open for residents to collect filters and replacement cartridges. Recreation centers listed below:
Boylan Recreation Center – 916 South Orange Avenue
John F. Kennedy Recreation Center – 211 West Kinney Street
Ironbound Recreation Center – 226 Rome Street/26 St. Charles Street
Vince Lombardi Center of Hope – 201 Bloomfield Avenue
St. Peter’s Recreation Center – 378 Lyons Avenue
Hayes Park West Recreation – 179 Boyd Street