Statement by Mayor Ras J. Baraka:
“This morning, I was honored to join Governor Phil Murphy and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo to announce that we are expediting the replacement of every lead service line in the City of Newark. Thanks to the $120 million low-interest loan, made possible by the Essex County Improvement Authority, we will be able to achieve our goal of replacing every lead service line in Newark by expediting the process tremendously and at no cost to homeowners. This is big news for the City of Newark but also sets a precedent across the country about how New Jersey is stepping up to the plate to address water infrastructure challenges for its residents.
“This is the culmination of all of our efforts to create a permanent solution to eliminate the risks of lead by replacing all lead service lines in our City.
“We have been working tirelessly to address this issue, which is why we launched the Lead Service Line Replacement in March. Since then, we have replaced more than 770 lead service lines, and we are so grateful for this additional support to help us dramatically accelerate this important work.
“This new funding will enable us to award contracts simultaneously and more quickly. It will also allow us to finish the work in less time than we originally anticipated.
“In addition, this $120 million loan will help Newark residents and families save money. The cost of replacing lead service lines can range between $5,000 to $10,000. Thanks to this new agreement, property owners will not have to pay anything toward replacing their lead service lines.
“Our efforts to distribute bottled water to residents in the Pequannock service area will continue out of an abundance of caution and until we receive additional testing back. The City is working around the clock with the New Jersey Department of EnvironmentalProtection (NJDEP), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the filter manufacturer to conduct additional testing and is committed to finding answers.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen an incredible outpouring of support from volunteers who are stepping up to support their neighbors by distributing bottled water. Now, we look forward to going door-to-door with our tremendous volunteers to help residents participate in our Lead Service Line Replacement Program in the coming days.
“The City of Newark is doing everything we can to address this issue for Newark residents. Today’s announcement is a significant step forward in helping the City of Newark modernize our drinking water infrastructure, and we invite residents to a meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, August 27 at 6:00 p.m. in the rotunda of Newark CityHall to join us in getting to participate in the Lead Service Line Replacement Program.”
– NEWARK –