Mayor Ras J. Baraka introduced to the Newark Municipal Council an ordinance today for First Reading that will require and enable the city to replace every lead service line in Newark, at no cost to residents. Once this ordinance is passed, Newark will be the first major city in the United States to require a total replacement of all of its lead service lines.
This ordinance will protect the health and safety of residents by significantly accelerating lead service line replacement. Property owners can sign up for the Lead Service Line Replacement program, and the work will be accomplished by City contractors at no expense to them. They also have the option of replacing the line at their own expense within 90 days of the ordinance’s effective date. When a property owner can’t be found or fails to sign up for the program, the City is now empowered to take all necessary steps to come on the property, without signed permission, to replace the lead service line.
“We need to get more property owners to sign up for Lead Service Line Replacement Program at no cost. Newark is a city of renters and too often landlords either can’t be found or show a lack of interest in this important health initiative. This ordinance will enable the City to replace all lead service lines and to do so quickly,” Mayor Baraka said.
“While the State is considering similar legislation, we didn’t want to wait for the state’s legislative process. It is important that this work be completed quickly, and by passing this local ordinance, Newark will get shovels in the ground faster,” said Newark Corporation Counsel Kenyatta Stewart.
Property owners who can demonstrate that lead service line replacement has already been accomplished prior to this ordinance, or that their property has no lead service line, are excluded from this ordinance.
Proof of Lead Service Line replacement will also be required under the ordinance for Certificates of Occupancy, Code Compliance, and Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificates.
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