Home>Local>Essex>Baraka opposes Holley call for state takeover of Newark water

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

Baraka opposes Holley call for state takeover of Newark water

Legislator wants Murphy to declare state of emergency, bring in National Guard to distributed bottled water

By David Wildstein, August 21 2019 2:00 pm

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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says calls for Gov. Phil Murphy to declare a state of emergency over Newark’s lead water crisis isn’t necessary.

Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Roselle) yesterday asked the state to take over Newark’s water management operation and asked the governor to dispatch the National Guard to distribute bottled water.

“Let me be clear about one thing: the City of Newark is not interested in turning over our water source to any outside entity,” Baraka said in a letter to Holley.  “Water leaving our two treatment facilities is in full compliance with all lead corrosion treatment requirements, and our source water remains clean.”

Baraka said that the city is “working around the clock” with state and federal officials.

“Out of an abundance of caution and until additional testing is complete, the City and State will provide bottled water to residents in the Pequannock service area who have lead service lines,” Baraka told Holley.

According to the mayor, Newark has distributed over 38,000 water filters and more than3 1,000 replacement cartridges to impacted residents since October 2018.

“Water leaving our two treatment facilities is in full compliance with all lead corrosion treatment requirements, and our source water remains clean,” Baraka said. “It is the last stretch of water pipes, located on private property, where outdated lead services lines may be present.”

Baraka said the city also launched a new corrosion control system in May.

“Experts expect to see a reduction in lead levels by the end of this year if enough orthophosphate is circulated within the system,” said Baraka.

Sources have told the New Jersey Globe that county officials are working on a plan to guarantee funding for Newark to replace lead-lined pipes.

Letter to Assemblyman Holley 8-21-19

This story was updated at 5:12 PM.

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