Primary Source Report-TR

  1. Two Newark suburbs struggle to remove lead water lines Lead Bloomfield has done some work; Belleville yet to begin

Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ)

This primary source includes information on the amount of money loaned to Newark and Bloomfield to aid in replacing lead service lines and how many service lines they have replaced as of January 2019. Both Bloomfield and Newark have also handed out water filters to residents. As of January 2019, Bloomfield has met the federal lead standard and Newark’s lead levels are still high. 

  1. City scales back bottled water distribution

Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ)

This primary source includes information about Newark’s plan moving forward after preliminary testing verify that water filters are working. September 2019- Newark started to scale down their bottled water distribution after preliminary testing of more than 300 filters showed 97% of them worked to remove lead from the tap water. DEP is setting up a program to edicate Newark residents on proper filter installation and maintenance. 

  1. Was the city’s water crisis preventable? Lead Records reveal lead problems festered for years

Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ)

This primary source creates a timeline about the actions that lead to the Newark lead water spike in 2017. City and state decision-makers failed to heed warning signs. Pequannock Plant Operator failed to run the plant effectively and follow state mandates. What broke the camel’s back- 2012 the federal government issues a new rule that clamped down on how water systems measure amounts of cancer-linked contaminants. Newark’s response was to make the water more acidic- which caused a lead issue. Currently, Newark has gotten funds from Essex County to replace lead pipes and provided filters and water bottles as mandates. This article is suggesting that decision-makers at every step of the ladder are responsible for the Newark Lead Water Crisis.

The 2012 federal government issued rule focuses on preventing cancer-linked contaminants, which are created when too much chemicals are used to disinfect the water containing too much unfiltered debris. Newark dropped it’s water pH level- making the water more acidic. Two years later- 2014, state regulators warned city officials about Newark’s disinfection practices, and warned city officials that residents should boil their water. However, the Pequannock Plant Operator, Pappachen, denied their claims. Pappachen argued the state’s tests had incorrect calculations and their new approach hasn’t been given enough time to work. The Pequannock Plant had also illegally dropped its benchmark for how many pathogens it needed to kill without asking the state. Records from four months of testing from 2013-2016 show the Pequannock Plant did not meet daily disinfection requirements 40%- every after self imposed standards. Throughout 2016 and 2018 the federal government marked Newark’s water system for accumulating the serious violations that jeopardized public health. This marking was missing by the state that didn’t force permanent fixes to Newark’s recurring problems. A state audit was initially by the EPA concerning New Jersey’s enforcement of federal lead rules. The DEP couldn’t find any evidence the state had ever set up a system in Newark that would have acted as an early alarm for failing lead prevention treatment.