Primary Source Report-AC

Alex Chang

Water Pollution, Camden NJ

Primary Sources

1.Title : Lead in NJ water: Lawmakers urge state to use $100M now to fix schools, Stacey Barchenger, northjersey.com, October 4, 2019

Location: Northjersey.com

Description: This source is about a $100M fund to fix the water in schools, because it was reported that a third of the schools in NJ had had high levels of lead in their water, specifically an issue with lead pipes. A particular part in the article highlighted that Camden and Newark did not meet the requirement that the New jersey School Development Authority set, which is crazy, because these are historically two cities that stand out in lead issues, as well as being notable poor minority neighborhoods.

2. Title: Cool Clear Water, New Jersey is out in front in its programs to protect water supplies, Paul Horvitz, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 4, 1983, pg 11-B

Location: ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Philadelphia Inquirer.

https://login.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/login?url= ?url=https://www-proquest-com.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/historical-newspapers/december-4-1983-page-35-807/docview/1849701806/se-2?accountid=13626

Description: This source is a newspaper article from 1983 about a bill that was created to implement a new state tax, that will that will tax community water supplier for water delivered per gallon as well as fine them for unsafe water levels that are found, to fund a carbon filtration system for NJ, because of the heavy contaminates that are found in New Jersey’s water. The article highlighted an exchange between Michael D. Vena, Camden’s water director, and Walter Rand, a New Jersey Senator, where Vena was against the bill because he thinks its a waste of funds and Senator Rand defends the bill, saying that he drinks bottled water. This will be used in my research because It shows that Camden is ignoring the water problems and are unwilling to accept a new state tax.

3. Title: How 1 N.J. district has beaten its dirty water problem – – for 14 years, Greg Adomaitis, NJ.com, March 31, 2016, Camden

Location: N.J.com ;

https://www.nj.com/camden/2016/03/this_nj_citys_school_water_crisis_predates_newark.html

Description: This source is from a NJ based online news outlet and the article was published in 2019. The article discusses how Camden has had a problem with lead pipes in the older building in the City. The article focuses on how old schools have been forced to shut down water fountains since 2002 when the water tested dangerously high for lead. I am using this source in my research to show how, and issue of drinking water which dates back to the 1970’s has still not been resolved. The Camden has continued to buy bottled water for 14 years, to avoid the cost of replacing older buildings and adding a filtration system.

4. Title: Jersey Charges Wide Corruption by Camden Agency and an Engineering Firm, Ronald Sullivan, The New York Times, March 17, 1976, pg. 45

Location: ProQuest Historical Newspaper: The New York Times

Description: This source is a newspaper article from 1976 about the misused funds that were meant to develop two treatment facilities. Camden had established their Municipal Utilities Authority in 1973 to create a sewage facility, and $600,000 was given to an engineering firm to develop the facility. The article states that the facility was so deteriorated that it further polluted the water that it was supposed to treat. The state is attempting to reclaim 1 million to 2 million dollars of illegally misused funds.

5. Title: Camden Still Finds Itself Treading Water, Robert Strauss, The New York Times, April 30, 2006, pg. NJ6

Location: ProQuest Historical Newspaper: The New York Times

Description: This source is a newspaper article from 2006 about the development of the Camden Waterfront. The waterfront is prospect for hotels and restaurants and other businesses. The City has continued to pour money into developing the Aquarium and other sites to bring more people into the city. There is criticism from the neighborhood communities about the infrastructure of the neighborhoods being fixed as well as old buildings with “water pipes made of wood”. I am using this source to show that the City of Camden today still has not fixed the old problems in the poor minority neighborhoods but have been instead spent money gentrifying the waterfront.

Primary Source Analysis : Camden Still Finds Itself Treading Water

This source is a newspaper article from 2006, about the development of the Camden Waterfront. The Waterfront is prospect for hotels, restaurants, and other big businesses. Camden is continuing to pour money into developing the Aquarium and other sites along the Waterfront to bring more affluent people into the city. There is criticism from the neighborhood residents about the infrastructure of the neighborhoods not getting the same funding to fix buildings with “water pipes made of wood”. I am using this source to show that the City of Camden, today have still not fixed the old problems in the poor minority neighborhoods but have been instead poured money endlessly into the Waterfront.

The first piece of evidence in this article is about Camden deciding to renovate the aquarium. In the article, rights to develop 33 acres of the Camden Waterfront, which included a 3-million-dollar grant, 15-million-dollar loan for the aquarium renovation in 2003, have been given to Steiner and Associates. In 2005, the president of Steiner and Associates Barry Rosenberg said that they are expecting a million visitors, which would be less that the 1.6 million visitors that came in 1992 when the old aquarium opened. This show that Camden is investing millions of dollars into renovating the aquarium, not because the aquarium is not up to standards, but to make the City look better, as well to bring in more outside investment.

The second piece of evidence in the article supports my argument that Camden is attempting to gentrifying the Camden Waterfront. In the article Barry Rosenberg talks about planning to open 100,000 square feet, 2 restaurants, and eventually million-dollar condos and hotels. This piece of evidence supports the argument that Camden is looking more towards gentrification and making Camden the next rich urban city like Hoboken and Jersey City. The city and urban planners are clearly not looking to help the residents that live in the poorer areas.

The last piece of evidence in this source is the resident’s responses to development of the Camden Waterfront. The residents in the article are concerned about whether or not their neighborhoods will also be developed. There is both concern about if the neighborhood infrastructure will be cleaned up, as well as if residents will be driven out of their homes due to gentrification. Frank Fullbrook, a community activist says, “I have always been por-revitalization, just that I don’t think you need to displace people to have it.” The hope with  revitalization is that there will be environmental remediation, less vacant homes, and new jobs for the community. This piece of evidence is the hopes of the residences that along with the development of the Waterfront, their neighborhoods will also improvement. It supports my argument, because the issues of water pollution have been known to the city of Camden since the 1970’s, but only now that they are developing the Waterfront, the environmental issues are finally being considered.