The water crisis in Flint, Michigan drew stark attention to failures across the country to replace an estimated 6 to 10 million lead water lines. The bipartisan infrastructure deal allocated $15 billion for a lead removal initiative, far less than the $45 billion initially proposed and a fraction of what the water industry says it would take to fully replace all lead water lines.
But Newark, new jersey has set a model. Two years after its own crisis with lead-tainted drinking water – nearly all of its 23,000 lead pipes have been replaced with copper ones.
I recently spoke with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka about the progress his city has made.
Mr. Mayor, thank you for joining us. How is it possible that within two years or so, Newark is able to replace some 18,000 plus lead service lines, lines that the city doesn’t even own?