Payne, Jr.'s Statement on Newark Water Crisis

August 12, 2019
Press Release
For Immediate Release                                                                                                    Media Contact:
August 14, 2019                                                                                                                 Patrick Wright 
                                                                                                                                              (202) 225-3436 

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.’s Statement on Newark’s Water Issue

“As a resident and representative of Newark, I am very concerned about the discovery of elevated levels of lead in Newark’s water supply.  Traditionally, Newark has been known for the quality of its water and had been known for some of the cleanest water in the country.  We need to find out what is happening in the pipes that carry this water from the aquifers to our faucets to solve and rectify this issue immediately.

The greatest threat with this water issue is the health of our children.  I introduced the Test for Lead Act to establish stronger tests for lead in school drinking water and avoid such problems for Newark and other communities across the country.

But I am not going to wait for that bill to pass to help improve Newark’s drinking water.  I am collaborating with Mayor Ras Baraka, city officials, and environmental protection personnel at the national and state level to get better lead screens for a short-term solution.  I am working with those same officials to find national resources to help cover the $70- $100 million cost of new water pipes in and around the city for a permanent solution.

I have co-signed a letter that called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide more resources to aid the residents of Newark during this crisis.  Also, I am working with Rep. Grace Napolitano, chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, and my other colleagues on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to discuss solutions on a national level.  We need to work tirelessly and immediately to guarantee what happened in Flint, MI. doesn’t happen anywhere else.”

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