Aug 14, 2019

Newark, N.J., Groups Head to Court for Safe Drinking Water

City officials have been supplying bottled water to 280,000 people

City officials have been supplying bottled water to 280,000 people

The Newark Education Workers (NEW) Caucus and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will be in federal court tomorrow, Aug. 15, 2019, according to a NRDC news release. The groups are seeking an emergency order for Newark officials to provide safe drinking water to Newark residents. 

courtIn Newark, N.J., officials have been supplying bottled water to 280,000 people after following reports that filters provided by the state to manage lead contamination in drinking water were found ineffective. The Water Quality Assn. supports this recommendation based on information currently available.

NRDC and NEW Caucus petitioned the court to require the city to provide alternate water supplies to residents and provide free water testing, among other things in October 2018. According to NRDC, the hearing will be held before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, Aug. 15, 2019, at 9:30 am at the Martin Luther King Building & U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street in Newark.

According to NPR, the U.S. EPA had doubts regarding the water filters effectiveness once distributed to residents. In fall 2018, the city distributed more than 40,000 water filters. Toxins are believed to have leached into the drinking water through old pipes. The city of Newark said free filters and cartridges would remove 99% of lead, according to NPR

Newark residents have been concerned after being urged to use bottled water. 

"We had our water tested and it's three times the federal action level," resident Yvette Jordan told CBS News. "So that's upsetting." 

The NRDC estimates that 30 million Americans drinking water containing lead and 5.5 million get water exceeding EPA’s maximum levels, according to CBS News

"We need to make some investments in fixing our lead contamination problems," said Erik D. Olson, NRDC's senior director, according to CBS News. "They have been with us for decades but they continue to haunt us and they are threatening children across the country."